Readout from 30 September Meeting

A wet night might have accounted for a slight drop in numbers for our meeting at the Beckton Community Centre, but there was no shortage of lively discussion.

We were pleased to welcome Councillor James Asser, newly appointed as Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Sustainable Transport. Before his appointment he had previously engaged with us by attending our Annual Meeting and our Councillor Ride. He mentioned that a new Director of Highways had been appointed.

Kerena updated on the activities of the Newham Climate Collective which brings together organisations interested in Newham Council’s initiatives to fight global warming, poor air quality and waste. We are a strong voice in this group. It will next be meeting on 7 October to consider Newham’s draft Air Quality Action Plan, on which consultation ends on 14 October.

We agreed that Newham Cyclists should put in a specific response in addition to anything produced by the NCC, and put together a co-ordinating group. However everyone is encouraged to participate as individuals in the Council’s online consultation. Specific points raised were: (a) the Cycle Strategy invoked in the draft needs to be actively implemented, (b) maximum leverage should be extrated from new developments and (c) all Council developments should be looked at with an eye to active travel and monitored – in paticular that infrastructure conducive to active travel is restored if removed for any reason.

Possible planning applications for a lorry park/distribution centre in Silvertown and the expansion of London City Airport were discussed. It was clarified that Newham Council still retained its planning and other powers in respect of the Royal Docks Enterprize Zone.

A panel discussion on cimate changed is planned at the LCC annual Meeting on 16 October.

On infrastructure:

  • It was agreed that an infrastructure group with a core of Olawale, Johnathan, Chris and Arnold – but open to anyone interested- should focus on infrastructure issues and take the load of the monthly meetings. To this end also regular updates of the Cycling Issues chart will be posted on the website to inform those interested.
  • The issues surrounding the MSG development in Angel Lane were discussed. Whilst it is opposed on infrastructure grounds by TFL the development is not likely to go away. However it should not compromise the surrounding area (Stratford Station, Montfichet Rd and Penny Brookes St and Angel Lane – all key points for active travel.
  • There is still time to submit “quick wins” for minor improvements in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
  • Enforcement cameras have not yet been installed for the Browning Rd bridge but should come shortly. We agreed to monitor the effect once the cameras had been installed and bedded in.
  • The pilot School Streets were going to be introduced in phases. The need for new schools to design in air quality was raised.
  • In general enforcement (of parking, littering, and to prevent engine idling) was becominng more important. Councillor Asser encouraged use of the “Love Newham” App.

We finishedwith a reminder of the success of the car free day. We had participated in events in Stratford (where there were a variety of activities – see photos – but no street closures) and in Tylney Rd (which was partially closed for play). The success of the event in Warrior Square Manor Park demonstrated the appetite for liveable streets.

A variety of bikes on display and in use at the Stratford Car Free Day event.
Smoothies also available with a bit of effort.

Arnold

Readout of meeting of 29 July 2019

We started with an evening ride from Forest Gate around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We saw the newly opened section of the Greenway before moving on to Crate for refreshment and a short discussion.

  • Michale Barratt, TfL’s Development Impact Manager, told us he was having discussions with Newham Council’s Network Management team and we agreed to maintain contact (whilst being wary that this department had a done little in the past to promote cycling in Newham). This initiate should benefit pedestrians , site workers, the less able as well as those that cycle.
  • The disappointing backtracking by Newham Council in respect of theBrowning Road bridge (see previous post). This issue gives greater urgency to our efforts to link with other like minded groups promoting a better environment and better neighbourhoods for Newham.
  • We will give feedback to LCC that scheduling the Freecycle in August made it difficult for us to provide marshals for the feeder ride.
  • We discussed forthcoming events on 22 September (Car Free Day) and 5 October (Bike from Boleyn).
  • We will seek discussions with Newham Council over the defective scheme for the junction of Greengate St and Barking Road.
  • We noted that staff at the Financial Conduct Authority found parking in Startford so cheap compared with Canary Wharf that commuting by car had increased.
  • We discussed the possibilities of hiring and/or hiring out a cargo bike.

Our next meeting will be 30 September – details to be confirmed.

Arnold

Readout from Meeting of 28 May 2019

15 of us congregated in the Forest Lane Lodge despite a change in our usual date and time. Councillor Blaney sent his apologies with an update of his current activities to promote cycling in the borough.

Below is a summary of the meeting. If you would like to know more please do not hesitate to get in touch.

  • We discussed and made further arrangements for a Councillor Ride on 9 June. This will be an important event.
  • Michael Barratt, TfL’s Development Impact Assessment Manager, who has being working closely with us for some period, updated us on his recent activities with the Newham Council Traffic management team and the London Legacy Development Corporation who still retain wide powers (including planning) over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and beyond. He suggested useful training that was available and how we can continue to minimise the adverse impact on cycling of major developments.
  • Stratford Original, the business improvement organisation is having its Stratford Town Centre Improvement launch event on 13 June from 4pm to 7pm; and is planning further events on 11 July and 22 September (World Car Free Day)
  • We will be having our “Fix Your Ride” (with add ons) at the Forest Gate Festival on 6 July.
  • Jonathan outlined the current enormous “Maddison Square Garden Sphere” development between Westfield and Angel Lane (see below for link to the application). He noted a derisory estimate by the planners of 20-30 cyclists going to events attracting 20,000 plus (amongst other questionable estimates) and the need for there to be better infrastructure proposals. A response to this application is due by the end of June
  • We agreed to support Jonathan with a QEOP subgroup to which other stakeholders and partner borough groups could be invited.
  • We looked at developments to restrict rat running in the Manor Park area – both east and west of High Street North (see below). The east section was a natural “Liveable Neighbourhood” and further information was needed on steps proposed to create this. The west section presented greater difficulties. However it appears to be acknowledged by the Council that its recent changes to the one way directions had not been successful. To end rat running will need further steps more akin to creation of a Liveable Neighbourhood; but it may be necessary to start with a limited area.
  • Having been contacted by an organisation called Iceni, which is promoting a walking and cycling bridge adjacent to the Thames Barrier. The group approved the idea in principle and will write pointing out that the Newham Ride is an ideal opportunity to put that proposal into context.
  • We discussed a response to a request from Newham Council to comment on the rebranding of Cycleways. We recalled our decision to object to signposting QW6 until it was of adequate quality. The consensus was that branded cycleways should be of sufficient quality (70% or more on the “Cycle Level of Service” scale) and continuous.
  • We had an early discussion on the prospect of greater funding from Newham Council.

Arnold

Readout from March 25 Meeting

We met at Stratford Library – a new venue – thanks to Trevor Mbatha. there was the usual crowded and interesting agenda.

  • Laura Shelton, a Crossrail Walking and Cycling Ambassador started us off, being available to mark bikes before the meeting. At the meeting proper she explained her role and some of her ideas for increasing cycling around stations and for staff. She explained that current policy will be for Crossrail to carry bikes – off peak- over all its lines (including the central underground tunnel.
  • Richard Wadey (Newham Council Sustainable Transport Officer) unravelled how Newham was proposing to spend the £2-3m pa TfL funding to promote the Mayor of London’s Transport Policy. For details see the earlier post of the catch up meeting with him. Headlines are that the big ticket items will be for (a) progressing design of Liveable Neighbourhoods (Forest Gate North in partnership with Waltham Forest and Woodgrange Estate). These would link to TfL’s accelerated interest in tackling the Romford Rd strategic cycling corridor; (b) forwarding design for some other strategic cycle corridors and completing improvements to Greenway and its ramps (e.g. at Newham General, Upper St) and a path through West Ham Memorial Park; (c) progressing design for key junctions on TfL’s identified strategic cycling routes, particularly the Barking Rd and (d) continuing the successful training and cycle hanger programme. He also explained various potential sources of funding to convert design into actual infrastructure. This is in addition to the Freemasons Liveable Neighbourhood for which Newham’s bid was successful, and other projects on the fringe of the borough such as Ilford Hill, the crossing of the Roding at Ilford and the Ilford to Barking route.
  • Trevor led discussion on the proposed “Greenway Challenge” event he was promoting on either the first or last Sunday of Bike Week. He had set up a number of partnerships already to get this event off the ground and we indicate a positive wish to help.
  • Also during Bike Week we decided to seek 13 June for a Bike Week partnership event with Stratford Original to promote and celebrate the improvements brought by the removal of the Stratford Gyratory.
  • Jonathan updated us on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the disturbing approach of the LLDC (the Planning Authority) whose current Design Guidance includes some real cycling howlers. We are going to have to get down to detail to update them not only on current practice but also to bring to their attention the historic mistakes make in the QEOP.
  • Richard Stevenson is pursing a Councillor Ride to ensure that the Newham Councillors who cycle get a better idea of what cycle infrastructure is possible and in place elsewhere.
  • Partnership Rides with Clapton CFC on 27 April and Bike from Boleyn on 4 May are coming up. A chance to mix football (of your choice) with cycling. And of course our own ride season is now in full swing.
  • Our Annual Meeting will take place on 29 April at the Red Lion 80 High St South East Ham 7.30pm to 9.30pm Light refreshment will be provided. Whilst predominantly a social/discussion event with guests we will have some formal business, particularly the election of Officers. Anyone who would like (or think they may like) to take a more active role in Newham Cyclists is encouraged to put their name forward. We want to continue to be a vibrant group.

Arnold

Readout from 25 February Meeting

A crew of 14 met at the Velodrome to discuss a wide range of topics:

We are expecting shortly to receive a copy of Newham’s Local implementation Plan (which sets out how the Council intends to spend its TfL transport infrastructure grant). This will need detailed consideration. TfL are expecting to announce their funding for Liveable Neighbourhood projects. we are optimistic that there may be one in Newham.

There was an update on the Stratford Gyratory cycle event run that afternoon afternoon by Newham Council. It gave an opportunity to chat generally with Council Officers. All “snagging” suggestions” for this scheme to go to Olawale (our Local Infrastructure Rep) for him to collate. we need to keep an eye on the restoration of bike parking and enforcement.

Our April meeting will be our Annual Meeting with guests. We will be electing officers and anyone who would like to contribute as an officer would be welcome. Formal notice will be issued later. We will also pursue a private meeting with key Councillors.

We discussed arrangements for a new partnership ride with Clapton FC from the Old Spotted Dog to their game at Wadham lodge on 27 April. Bike from Boleyn, another football related partnership ride, is scheduled for the following Saturday.

We discussed our contribution of organising a ride to support the relaunch of Redbridge LCC starting  at the Quaker Meeting House on Bush Rd  2 March, 11.00 am.

We discussed suitable responses to the reconsultion on proposals to remove humps in Capel Rd.

We discussed a possible partnership with Stratford Original (a business improvement project) who are planning a event related to the new Stratford town centre layout.

We discussed the Council’s unsatisfactory plans for Greengate St/Barking Road and decided to take the matter up at the political level based on our response to the consultation.

We discussed development in the Olympic Park and Westfield, noting LLDC’s reluctance to follow the London Mayor’s new cycle standards, and the opportunity to leverage development funding for sustainable transport improvements.

Readout from January 2019 Meeting

A goodly crew of 15 gathered in Durning Hall, Forest Gate on 28 January for our first meeting of 2019 and the first for a couple of months. There were a number of interesting developments.

  • We discussed the briefing given by Murray Woodburn on Newham’s Local Implementation Plan (LIP) which is the bid for money from TfL for infrastructure projects. The bid has not yet gone to TfL to the change in the responsible Newham Cabinet Member, who had yet to approve it, and we were not shown any specific details. However from what Murray was able to show us from the general principles governing the bid were strong on sustainable transport. This year TfL are scrutinising LIP bids closely to ensure they contribute to the Mayor of London’s Vision and LCC itself is also looking at them closely. If the bid meets the principles it should pass these tests and, more importantly, progress sustainable transport in Newham.
  • Queeen Elizabeth Olympic Park: Following our letter on the inadequacies of the cycling provision in the Park (see earlier post), we have sent objections to LLDC in respect of the cycling provision included in the Stratford Waterfront proposal. Jonathan will represent us at the next meeting of LLDC’s Sustainable & Active Travel Group. Olawale is pursing a possible link with the Bobby Moore Academy which is also interested in pushing sustainable transport.
  • Olawale updated us on an audit rides of the Ilford – Barking-Barking Riverside and CS3 – Barking routes. He also reported that the “Ilford Gardens” scheme to improve Ilford Hill and the Romford Rd /North Circular junction was lilkely to start this year.
  • We decided to pursue an invitation from Stratford Original, the local Business Improvement District Group, to mark the completion of the Stratford gyratory works (when it happens). We are also pursuing various issues connected with these works.
  • We will contribute to the relaunch of hte Redbridge LCC group.
  • Our ride season has kicked off (see previous post). we tweaked our calendar.

Arnold

Readout of Meeting of 29 October 2018

A packed agenda stimulated some lively discussion.

  • Mike updated on the Greenwich and Woolwich footunnels, .  We will pursue with Newham Council the updating of the bye-laws – which include pilot schemes permitting cycling, but may need adjustment to accommodate non-standard cycles.
  • Steve led discussion on rides.  The last ride of the year with the AAA children’s cycle club will take place on 3 November with (possibly) a  ride to the Fireworks later that evening, and a short Newham Ride with a heritage theme on 11 November.

    Steve is working on next year’s ride calendar.  The starting point will be this year’s rides, which have been successful in particular in attracting participants from outside Newham.    We are looking for a broad range of ride leaders and can arrange training through LCC.  If you have a ride you would be able to lead get in touch.

  • We celebrated our campaigning award on Stratford Town Centre  (note, no longer a gyratory), particularly for Olawale who was not at the the LCC AGM to receive it.
    The scheme has rightly been recognised for its quality.  Some construction issues were highlighted and a further audit ride is planned.  In the longer term we need to remain alert on 20mph, conflicts with pedestrians, and rat running in the margins of the scheme.
  • We are planning a audit ride for Quietway 22 (the Greenway), and discussed out continuing concerns with Quietway 6, across the north of the Borough which still under development  .
  • We highlighted points to raise with Newham Council’s Sustainable Transport Officer (which will be posted separately following a meeting with him.)
  • Finally :
    (a) Bike for Boleyn are holding a Quiz Night on 23 November at East ham Working Mens Club, 7.30pm.
    (b) Waltham Forest have expressed a desire to associate with our initiative on the QE Olympic Park – there being a meeting of the LLDC Sustainable Transport Group following July’s audit ride shortly.

Arnold

Readout of 24 September 2018 Meeting

A substantial gathering of 13  eventually gathered to occupy a corner of the the Golden Fleece. Discussion was, as usual, lively and interesting.

  • We started with a presentation by Michael Barratt, TfL’s Development Impact Assessment Manager, who has enormous expertise on alleviating the adverse impact of development works on walkers and cyclists.   He was seeking our assistance to apply a “3 Tier Assessment Works Assessment” process, the first tier involving cycling and walking,  the area of the proposed works with the contractor and determining the challenges (particularly for those with disabilities and adapted bikes) and the space available to meet them.  Tier 2 is to design alleviating measures.  Fort his purpose TfL’s Temporary Traffic Management Handbook (currently in draft) is very helpful. Tier 3 is feedback during works.

From the Newham perspective the major current works are at Stratford which is proceeding reasonably well.  Michael has assisted us recently in improving this and the more problematic  works at Bow Flyover on CS2.

The meeting was receptive to pursuing this for future significant works and we will pick up with our Newham Council contacts how to do this effectively.  Most roads in Newham are the borough’s responsibility (as opposed to TfL).

In the meantime any comments on the Stratford works can be sent to our contact e-mail for collation and submission to the responsible Newham Officer.

  • Newham are consulting on a “liveable neighbourhood” scheme likely to form the borough’s bid for TfL funding – in the Freemason’s Rd area.  There is currently a high level consultation to which we will reply but as usual individual responses would be helpful.
  • Richard will be taking forward, with an interested group, the idea of offering councillors bespoke rides with a walking /cycling perspective.
  •  A proposed letter concerning the QE Olympic Park will be taken forward with LCC HQ and other interested boroughs being invited to participate.
  • Newham Cyclists and Newham Living Streets will take forward a letter concerning the cost of parking permits, a draft of which was discussed.
  • A busy October in prospect with an Fix your Ride stall on  13th, an Essex lanes Ride on 14th, Bike from Boleyn on 20th, and an AAA bike fixing stall on 27th.  Volunteers for stalls  always welcome and if you are interested and have not already volunteered please get in touch via the contact e-mail.

Arnold

Readout from Meeting of 30 July

Despite the absence of some regulars 20 of us assembled in the Garden of the View Tube Cafe to participate in a lively meeting.

  1. Bill had sent in a note of the financial position which was a balance of £879.20 thanks in part to donations from the  Fix My Ride stall since April of £241.43 (£119.21 from the forest Gate Festival).  Some of that will be needed to replenish stocks.  Our payment for providing the RideLondon feeder ride from Stratford is to come.
  2. We discussed the fact that Newham was one of the few London Boroughs to provide free parking for a fist car for households in its in its parking zones.  We decided to put together a first draft of a letter to the Mayor, the responsible Cabinet Member and interested Councillors, setting out our view in the context of promoting  sustainable transport;  and to approach other interested bodies  (e.g. Living Streets, Newham CCG) with a view to putting the case jointly.
  3. Arnold outlined the results of the catch up meeting of 13 July with the Sustainable Transport Officer of Newham Council.  This chart provides a summary of the position:
    Newham Cyclists Issues of Interest July 2018
    and this document (the LIP) sets out planned spending in 2018-19 on various cycle projects intended to be implemented by Newham Council.
    LIP PROGRAMME 2018-19 V
    Please let me know if you have any comments or questions on either of these documents.
  4. We intend to be represented on an audit ride of the  CS3 extension to Barking being conducted by Newham Council.
  5. We debriefed on the RideLondon feeder from Stratford.   It did have very positive feedback from the participants (74 going and approximately 30 returning).  In particular we will examine alternatives to CS2  from Mile End to Aldgate.
  6. The next Bike from Boleyn ride is sceduled for 20 October.  If you would like to help put this in your diaries.  There are plans to link it with a street party/festival at the site of the World cup Statue.
  7. We decided to organise another sequence of bike fixing and rides for the children’s cycle club at Ambition, Aspire, Achieve for September/early October.  The feedback on the rides so fr this year has been very positive and those helping have found it very satisfying.
  8. We brainstormed how Brampton Primary might find some bikes for its bike club and where there might be some old bikes for reconstruction by Pro Bike Service.
  9. There have been some events on the Greenway organised by Sustrans and Newham Council.he section north of Stratford high St is due to open (at long last) next year. It includes (a) a 4m path (as per the rest of the sections between Wick Lane and Canning Road) with the legacy fencing/concrete blocks that the council is negotiating with LLDC to remove so we can install lighting and CCTV (b)  alarge bridge area next to the rail line (c) the possible reopening of the closed City Mill River Path on the north side of the Greenway which would that offeran additional high quality future connection, being more direct to UCL/Stadium Island etc and (d) a ramp, constructed by Crossrail, to Marshgate Lane.Since the meeting I have asked about the overhead lighting in the section of the  Greenway north of the View Tube.  Apparently they have never worked but there is permission for the power connection which should take place this month.
  10. Our Canterbury to Ramsgate ride takes place on Sunday 5 August.
  11. There was a long discussion, based on Jonathan’s Report (below) on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.  It was clearly disappointing how little regard LLDC had for cycling facilities, how little understanding of what was acceptable and how much it was promoting rat running.  Noe of this is particularly surprising given its poor track record.  A ray of light is that the Newham Councillors now on the LLDC Planning Committee had an understanding of cycle issues.  We decided to draft another letter  expressing our concerns and seek to act in partnership with neighbouring borough groups.  We would also examine the possibility of putting the QEOP forward as a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in an attempt to halt the current adverse trend.

Arnold

Readout from May 2018 Monthly Meeting

This was held on 21 May to avoid a bank holiday.  In the evening sunshine we took a quick ride around the rat runs of Manor Park,  between the Romford Road and East Av/Plashet Grove, either side of High Street North, leaving time for discussion in the garden of the Golden Fleece afterwards.

On Manor Park, Adam suggested how through traffic could be stopped by point road closures leaving groups of streets accessible (each group shown as the same colour on this map):

We decided to-

  • discuss the problem and possible solutions with Newham Council’s Sustainable Transport Officer and Newham Living Streets;
  • invite ideas for possible solutions.  If you have ideas or would like to participate in developing ideas please get in touch, by 10 June, to newham@lcc.org.uk and ratrunningssshm@gmail.com);
  •  continue to raise awareness of local residents, schools etc;
  • inform the new local councillors.

We discussed how to run our Freecycle feeder ride on 28 July.  We are looking at a new route.  Marshals are needed.  If you can help and have not already indicated please let me know on newham.lcc.org.uk  again by 10 June.

We were not impressed with the plans for Q6 Temple Mill Lane/Leyton Rd jucntion and will be renewing our objections.  It is imperative that the quietways reach an decent quality.  otherwise they will waste public money on infrastructure that will not attract cyclists.

We decided to run a programme of Councillor Rides to reinforce with our new Council the potential of and benefits from cycling in Newham.

Out third cycle of bike maintenance and ride with Ambition, Aspire, Achieve goes ahead over teh next two Saturdays.

Arnold