- We started with a presentation from Paula Blake from the charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve which helps young people from the Arc in the Park in Hermit Road Park. They are funded for, and gearing up to run, a cycle club on Saturdays aimed especially at those with disabilities. They are looking for cycle-interested volunteers to help their employed sessional workers. No special cycling qualifications are needed. This sounded an interesting and worthwhile project and on initial soundings it looked like it might be possible to get a rota of interested helpers from Newham Cyclists.
If you would be interested in joining such a rota please let me know and I can provide more details.
This charity also has places on the Ride 100 available. Again, if you are interested please contact me.
- There was a report back from those who went on the Greenway inspection ride with the sustainable Transport Office from newham council on 24 February. This was a worthwhile exercise. It seems some gates will be removed as lighting and CCTV is installed and 24 hour opening is likely to come to the stretch between Upper St and Stratford High St. Work on a ramp providing a link to the Channelsea Path (and Stratford Town Centre) has started. Some remedial work was identified as were instances of bad planning of the works (e.g. gates being painted which were about to be removed) It does not look like the section of the Greenway between the Stratford High St and the View Tube will be open until at least 2020.
Problems to look out for: vents set in the path which are awkward for bikes, misaligned “cycle tiles”, school parking at Brampton Manor (which also blocks ambulance access to Newham Hospital!), chicanes and 24 hour opening along the whole length.
- We discussed the draft plans for Maryland Crossrail “improvements” which were very poor and if anything made the area worse for cyclists. Various suggestions immediately emerged to provide benefits from cyclists. Olawale will gather these and make an alternative plan which can be put to interested Councillors. Please look at the plan and send in your suggested improvements in order to help compile an alternative, more cycle friendly proposal.
- There has been a cabinet reshuffle in Newham which has seen anti-cycling Councillor Corbett no longer responsible for transport infrastructure. We decided to approach the new Cabinet member responsible for cycling.
- We decided to examine the possibility of holding our annual meeting at the (re-opening) View Tube.
- The grant application for the monthly market stall in Forest Gate has been made but may take a few weeks to process. In the meantime we decided to run a pilot a session on 11 March.
- We are compiling a list of marshals for the big Bike from Boleyn Ride on 22 April. If you can help please let me know.
- Westfield Bike user Group are holding an event on 2 June – details are still to be confirmed, but we have been asked if we would like to take part in some way.
- The transition to the new website is progressing.
- Some of our members are taking part in Spin for SmartWorks this week – raising money for SmartWorks by cycling 500 miles.
- Also aiming to cycle 500 miles is the Leading Our Lives youth group. They are looking for some cyclists to come along on Good Friday (14th April) to Redbridge Cycling Centre to help them clock up the miles. Please contact Kerena for details if you’d like to help out and be able to feel righteous about all the Easter Eggs you eat on Sunday!
It was standing room only at our January meeting and a wide variety of interesting issues were considered. Please therefore forgive the long post. If you would like further details on any of these matters please get in touch.
- We decided to hold our annual meeting on 26 April 2017, venue to be confirmed. There will be some catering. All ideas for speakers or events gratefully received.
- We decided to progress the idea of taking a monthly stall at Woodgrange Market on the second Saturday of the month (except winter) from 10 am to 2 pm, to offer minor bike repairs (with a strong teaching element) to promote cycling; to promote LCC and Newham Cyclists; and to have a jumble of unused bike equipment. We agreed to apply for a grant for tools and other essential equipment and to use some of our existing funds for this purpose, initially £100 to establish a stock of spares.
- The transfer to a new website is proceeding . The new site (which is now in use) is being degliched and ought to offer new possibilities to communicate, such as e-mail alerts.
- Two charities have offered us places on the summer Ride 100 – should anyone want to take this up please get in touch.
- We decided to invite the local charity Aspire, Ambition, Achieve to our next meeting to talk more of their proposed Saturday club for children based in Hermit Rd Park.
- Steve outlined the ride programme. He is intending to reschedule the Greenstead Ride that was rained off. The next rides are a country ride around the Hoo Pensinsula on 12 February and a short family West Ham Heritage Ride in conjunction with the Bike from Boleyn Campaign on 4 March.
- There is enormous activity on infrastructure at the moment, illustrated by number of outstanding consultations at the time of the meeting.Thanks to Olawale’s efforts we have been more active than ever in promoting good infrastructure.The outcome of the regular update meeting with Newham Council’s Sustainable Transport Officer before Christmas is available in chart form. Get in touch if you would like to see it or discuss any particular infrastructure development (photos help).
If there are particular infrastructure concerns they can be raised with us.
The meeting appreciated the need to try to influence plans as they were being formed; the need to photograph and report (via ourselves) facilities not in good order, such as gates left open. Generally when these have been raised with the Council there is a positive response.
Issues which aroused particularly strong discussion were the Greenway (for which we will now seek a ride with Council officials) and events in the QE Olympic Park (which is also being looked at by LCC centrally). We also decided to assist those who had been waiting longer than they should for on-street secure cycle parking agreed by the Council.
- Finally we discussed two disturbing local Labour Party developments:
First, West Ham Ward passed a motion seeking primary legislation to make it mandatory for cyclists to use cycle lanes. It was pointed out that this was a retrograde battle fought and lost some years ago in the redraft of the Highway Code. Also it was inappropriate in a borough where the cycle lanes can be very substandard (CS2 Warton Rd, Romford Rd) and the Council has even insisted on the removal of a protective lanes at a patently dangerous slip road (Tramway Ave) in order to accommodate driver misbehaviour. We have sought advice from LCC and agreed to engage with this issue on social media and in the forthcoming borough insert to the LCC magazine.
Second, a motion was put at the Labour Group for the Council to reverse its position of support for the Silvertown Tunnel and to call for the project to be cancelled. although this was in line with recently expressed deep concerns about the project by the Council this motion was wrecked by an amendment proposed by a Cabinet Member. The meeting noted this development with deep disappointment given the significant environmental degradation that this project will cause.
A well attended social gathering at the Wanstead Tap.
We managed to conduct some business. The main item was next year’s ride programme which is shaping up nicely and should be ready in the early New Year. Early dates for your diary are 10 December for the Christmas Lights Ride and 14 January for a ride to the William Morris museum exhibition, “Posters of Protest”.
- After further discussion we decided to maintain our opposition to the current Quietway plans for the junction at Leytonstone Rd between Henniker Rd and Buxton Rd.
- Bike form Boleyn are holding a Quiz night on 13 January. Newham Cyclists will be fielding a table. If you would like to participate please get in touch with me.
- All who had not were urged to respond to the Stratford gyratory consultation which closed on 30 November.
- Our next infrastructure catch up meeting with the Newham council Sustainable Transport Officer will be on 16 December. if you have any infrastructure issues that you would like to raise please let me know.
- We discussed Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park issues.
- Our next meeting will be on 30 January 2017
Happy Christmas and New Year!
A meeting packed with discussion set in the congenial surroundings of Eat 16. Apologies for the long post.
- Steve related the success of theBike from Boleyn ride which attracted over 50 riders including 7 Councillors and Stephen Timms MP. It has been reported in the Newham Recorder and will be in the Newham Mag to be issued on 4 November.
- A bigger Bike from Boleyn ride is planned for April 22 (the Everton game). Put this weekend in the diary (in case the match is shifted to Sunday!).
- Some other side benefits include; contact with the West Ham Supporters Club which isable to accommodate meetings; fundraising/social events are planned; we can adapt a Newham ride in February to bring in with West Ham heritage sites, with a view to attracting these participants.
We will discuss our 2017 ride programme at the next meeting which will have a more social focus. Inm the meantime our Brewery ride will take place on Saturday 5 November, meet at the View Tube at midday.
In respect of the Greenway (which was brought to Councillors attention as a cycle resource by the Bike from Boleyn Ride) there was good news: Planning applications are in for the 24 hour lighting and CCTV; work should start ona new Abbey Rd ramp and signalised crossing to the Channelsea path shortly; Newham Council has prioritised the other new ramps in this order (1) West Ham Memorial Park (2) Newham General Hospital (3) Lonsdale Ave/Stokes Rd (4) First Ave (5) Gallion’s Reach (6) Khartoum Rd (7) Corporation St. The funding is likely to reach to (3) and might even stretch to (5).
Furthermore TfL are going to look at the rubbish phasing of thelights at the A13 crossing (at long last).
However, the closure north of Stratford High St is likely to continue to at least spring 2018, but with any luck the pavement outside the former Porsche garage should be widened again soon to assist teh alternative shared path route.
Peter outlined the excellent progress he and Thom we making on building our new website. It should be possible to switch over shortly. It will be more mobile friendly and simple that the current site. The features suggested at the meeting, based on the current experience (and seemingly possible) were:
- better links., e.g. between the calendar and rides and with Facebook and Twitter;
- a facility to cut down posts with a “read more” button;
- a facility to archive, e.g. our responses to consultations;
- greater ability to download routes.
More long term we thought a “how to get there facility” would be useful, as would an weekly/fortnightly e-mail (with a view to replacing the current Yahoo Group) and an easy way for those interested to respond to consultations – see below.
We appreciated the need to cater for casual interest as well as the hard core supporter, and to seize the opportunity for educating Councillors.
- The Forest Gate response had been lodged by Olawale and followed up with an e-mail to all local Councillors.
- He had also lodged a response to the Westfield Ave crossing and elicited a helpful response from the responsible Council traffic officer.
- The two Quietway consultations for crossing Leytonstone Rd at Buxton Rd which needed to be submitted this week were discussed at length and the meeting concluded that we should (a) remind the Council of thebetter option of using Chobham Rd(b) stick to TfL and LCC standards by calling for a signalised crossing – even if that were to be sensored or push button in order to avoid needless disruption at time of few cyclist crossing, and (c) indicate that we could accept Buxton Rd being two way.
- The meeting confirmed there was no objection in principle to a zebra link from the floating bus stops on Stratford High St to the pavement but considered that further information should be sought as to their width and their lighting.
- Straford gyratory consultations are taking place on datesand at venues found in this link, and are important. As we have been very closely involved in the development of theplan it is good. Olawale explained that it would be helpful if as many as possible went to the consultations to give vocal support in principle, in the light of thecurrent organised opposition taking place, especially in central London, to cycle schemes. Information on where opposition was likely to arise would be useful. The outstanding points that can be made are (a) phasing of lights should not discriminate against cyclist as on CS2 (b) there should be coherence with other schemes especially Maryland and “the Leyton ladder” route to Leyton (c) steps should be taken to stop rat running in surrounding areas, and (d) the footpath between Station Rd and the DLR should be shared. If there are individual questions on this scheme please get in touch.
As a matter of general principle it was suggested that in consultation we repeat our established view on schemes and press for illustrative drawingswhen these are not supplied as part of the consultation.
And there was even a short time for some AOBs:
- Olawale will share the slides from the recent PASTA event.
- Individuals encouraged to support cycling consultations even if out of Borough, such as Tavistock Place. A positive approach was needed to counteract organised opposition.
- Ken suggested providing a core briefing on cycle issues to Councillors and reported that Lyn Brown MP had been persuaded that the use of buses to transport bikes through the proposed Silvertown Tunnel was a poor idea.
- We should emphasise the role of cycling in improving air quality.
- TfL moving to the Stratford International Quarter provided an opportunity.
The meeting focused on infrastructure as Richard, Newham Council’s Sustainable Transport Officer kindly provided an update. Â The key Â features are:
- Richard explained how “LIP” funding provided to local authorities by TfL for relatively minor transport improvements work. Â We are currently in the final year of a three year phase which has seen a number of improvements, not least based on the 2014 “Ward audit” Newham cyclists undertook with Richard. Â Richard explained how aÂ series of contraflows, drop kerbs and point closures Â were being brought forwardÂ in a coherent way to promote Â permeability in urban Newham. Â Soft measures such as cycle training and work with schools Â had been more successful than might have been anticipated. Â The current funding may be rolled out for a further year before the next three year cycle.
- Newham Councillors have rejected a plan for Forest Gate which (in response to strong calls from consultation) included some segregated cycle lane. Â Whilst we were critical of theÂ details of the plan this is a disappointing affirmation of how far behind Newham Councillors are in promoting cycling. ImprovementsÂ Â Â are funded by Crossrail so will go ahead, but their nature is not now known. Â We will continue to keep an eye and press for improvements that benefit cyclists.
- The Maryland Crossrail improvement plans have yet to be put out for consultation. Â It is important that these are coherent with the Stratford Gyratory .
- Â Improvements to the Greenway are progressing, including lighting and some extra ramps (e.g. to Memorial Park and Newham Hospital ). Â One new ramp has passed the design stage which will promote useful connectivity withÂ the Channelsea Path (although a vital toucan crossing of Rick Roberts Way is not yet funded).
- Redbridge Council are pressing hard for a Roding Crossing to Ilford north of theÂ Romford Rd. Â This would increase the importance of utilising the current pathway between the City of London Cemetery and theÂ railway line which is currently unusable for cycling.
- A cycle lane is being put into Jenkins Lane as part of CS3 improvements.
- Implementing the Silvertown WayÂ planned improvements are partly funded and therefore likely to start (with the active supportÂ of the local councillors). Â This is important as cycle facilities need to be put in place before the Silvertown Tunnel attracts more traffic into this part of Newham.
- TheÂ scrapyard blocking the completion of the Leaway between Cody Dock and Canning Town is reported to have found an alternative site. Â The timing of any move is not known.
- On street cycle parking shelters are now being installed and well used. Â Request from groups of neighbours would be welcome.
We will haveÂ a stall at the Forest Gate Festival on 16 July, but more volunteers to do a shift would be welcome. Â We will also try to promote cycling at aÂ St Paul’s (East Ham) Street Party on 13 August. Â if you can help and have not already volunteered for either of these events please contact me.
The Essex Lanes ride of the previous day was proclaimed a great success.
Next meeting 25 July – probably linked to an evening ride.
After a false start our annual meeting was held last Tuesday at the Wanstead Tap. Â There was an excellent turnout including three local councillors who have been supportive of cycling initiatives (John Gray, Terence Paul and Rachel Tripp). Â We were assisted by some excellent cheese and beer.
As for the formalities :
- We approved the minutes from last yearÂ .
- We agreed a new constitutionÂ to update our organisation in line withÂ LCCÂ requirements.
- We agreed the annual report and accounts for 2015/16 .
- We agreed a budget for 2016/17.
- Kerena Fussell and Arnold Ridout were elected as joint co-ordinators, Bill Bremner as Treasurer, Olawale Ajibola was elected Local Schemes Lead and Steve Smith as Ride Co-ordinator.
We decided to produce for sale a group T -shirt.
Less formally, we had wide ranging discussions on the following topics
- Stratford Gyratory â€“ proposal now reasonable in principle but details of the junctions will need further work.
- Other infrastructure developments â€“ key funding available from TfL, Newham LIP allocation, and from developments such as Crossrail for some potentially significant improvements. Â More information is available from the current list of issues.
- LCC Sign for Cycling campaign â€“ last push before the election.
- Our contribution to the Forest Gate Cycle network Evening 26 May.
We ended with a discussion as to our future focus. Â As a result we will consider how the group can focus on schools,Â asÂ some money is available for promoting cycling in schools and our efforts could pay dividends in terms of increased cycling by both children and their parents.
We had a very productive discussion with Richard Wadey, sustainable Transport Officer for Newham Council, based around a PASTA presentatation (an EU funded project promoting physical activity through sustainable transport approaches) in which a number of towns and cities are participating. Â For London this is Newham, Tower hamlets and Waltham Forest. Â He also provided a general update of cycling in NewhamÂ showing an increase in the modal share of cycling .
Richard shared the information on the Cycle Level Of Service studies of routes in Newham,and projects, particularly Quietway 6, the Greenway, Stratford gyratory Â and the Leaway. Â These will form part of theÂ Cycle Strategy of the Borough and inform future decision making, hopefully by integrating cycle considerations into all transport schemes. Â He showed a Cycle Strategy map showing the potential in the Borough for a dense network of routes with a high level of service (i.e. over 80%).
He also introduced the possibility of secure on street parking hangers and the tool library at Stratford Mobile Garden.
As part of Newham “New Deal” was a new deal for roads involving investing over Â£100m over the next ten years. Â There was potential to ensure cycling was adequately integrated into this vision.
Slides and on-line maps available from me.
- noted the acquisition of a cargo trailer that can be made available to anyone who would like to borrow it;
- discussed the LCC Sign for cycling Campaign;
- confirmed our Annual meeting for 11 April at Eat 16 cafe, at which light refreshments will be served; and
- decided that theÂ first in the summer series of evening rides will take place on 23 May and will visitÂ Walthamstow Village improvements.
Another healthily attended and lively meeting at Coffee E7:
- Following the meeting with Councillors Gray and Paul before Christmas concerning the various issues surrounding Stratford High Street and gyratory we submitted a briefing note on which we are waiting a response.
- There was a very open catch up meeting meeting withÂ the Newham Council Sustainable Transport officer. Â Headlines are:
Designs have been submitted to TfL for the junctions of theÂ northern Quietway. Â Our view was that these were disappointing , and we indicated that we could not support a Quietway which had substandard junctions. Â Better progress on upgrading the Greenway. Â A small pilot lighting project will shortly be put in place. Â Limited improvements are in prospect around Westfield (Stratford Place) as changes are made for taxis and coaches. Â There are good designs on the shelf for the wider area waiting for the opportunity to be implemented.
An cycle assessment of the main roads (but not junctions) has been undertaken which will form part of a proposed cycle strategy from the Borough along with an audit of cycle parking.
There are further delays in establishing the Leaway between Cody Dock and Canning town.
All current issues have been recorded for monitoring and it was decided to publish this on this website (to follow). Â By way of Â general follow up we have been told that Newhamâ€™s cycling mode share has increased again,according to the London Travel Demand Survey (Travel in London report 8), up from approx. 1.3% to 2.3% in 2012/13-2014/15.
- A Greenway Â users group is planned.
- We noted that the work undertaken so far on the northern Quietway was heavily engineered and that there was still an issue of parking in Cemetery Rd.
- We will be actively participating in stakeholder consultation on the plans for Stratford gyratory, a meeting taking place on 8 March.
- We discussed our ride programme and in particular the forthcoming, and much anticipated, HooÂ Ride on 14 February. Â To ensure smooth practical arrangements (not least securing the cheapest train ticket to Gravesend), it would be helpful if anyone intending to come on this ride gave advanced notice (email@example.com)
We will be coordinating rides with a new Community group in Stratford City and we may also be joining in with a CTC ride around Witham in April.
- We agreed to buy a further banner , some equipment for rides (tools/first aid) and some T shirts for ride leaders.
- The current exhibition at the Design Museum was warmly recommended and there are still tickets for the talk by Emily Chappel at the Wanstead Tap on 15 February.
- Richard Wadey will be talking at our next meeting on 29 February and then our AGM will be 11 April.
- Funds are available from the Council for high quality on street parking bays. Â Please let us know of good sites.
- We decided to support, with a stall, an indoor car boot sale Â on 20 February at the Field Community Centre, Station Rd. Â If you are able to provide some time to man the store please let us know and we will be putting together a rota.
Again a well attended meeting with a full an interesting agenda. Â Our first meting at the Black Lion in Plaistow:
- Following up last month’s meeting with Living Streets we heard that Living Streets were progressing setting up a Newham branch whichÂ some Newham Cyclists were likely to join. Â ThisÂ would maintain co-ordination.
- Following last month’s meeting on Forest Gate Crossrail related improvemetns, a collective NewhamÂ CyclistÂ response has been given to this consultation as well as well as other consultations Â on Manor Park and the Silvertown Tunnel. Â These to reinforce the individual responses.
- There wasÂ a very positive meeting with Councillors Terry Paul and John Gray over the Greenway closure. Â Interestingly,The day before this meeting the signage had been improved by Thames Water. Â Notable also was the number of people cycling in the area and the number that stopped to voice their opinions.
ThereÂ is hope for the end to the closure from West Ham station to Stratford by AprilÂ next year, with some limited provisional access before thenÂ The reopeningÂ Â paves the way for the planned improvements for the Greenway as part ofÂ Â TfL Â second round of quietways – in this caseÂ 24hr opening and lighting, and Â 4 additional ramps for access. Â The closure on the northern side is more uncertainÂ despite the overrunning Crossrail related worksÂ coming to end.
- We are seeking a similar engagement with these two local CouncillorsÂ to look at the multiple issues surrounding Stratford High Street and the Stratford Gyratory. Â To the obvious ones can be added the frequent parking of construction traffic Â blocking the shared use pavement.
- Some more works on the Victoria Park to Hainault Quietway have started in Forest Gate. Â We noted that theÂ introduction of a CPZ had led to more parking in Cemetery Rd to the detriment of the route as a Quietway. Â We agreed that we could not endorse this Quietway unless the crucial junctions were suitably addressed.
- We decided to go ahead with some traffic counting pilots.
- We noted the recent poll in the Newham RecorderÂ on cycling issue. Â Steve Smith put forward an excellent case for cycling.
- We decided to seek a catch up meeting with Newham’s Sustainable Transport Officer in the New Year.
- We noted that further cycle parking has been casually removed without replacement by Newham Council – this time outside Wilkinson’s in Stratford.
- The Christmas lights ride on 7 December was discussed and the 2016 Ride Programme was launched. Â (Details elsewhere)
- On street secure parking has been installed by Newham Council in various locations. Â A welcome development. Â All were urged to identify further suitable sites.
We benefited from Rosalind Readhead providing a talk and stimulating lively and interesting discussion. Â Rosalind is an independent mayoral candidate promoting a policy of car free days and active travel,Â particularly in central London.
She cited a recent study on the health effects of private motor vehicles in London. Â some of theÂ figures were very telling. This is a selection:
- Â 67% of all car journeys could be completed by bicycle in 20 minutes.
- 75 sq kms of London is devoted to car parking.
- 9,500 deaths in London each year can be associated with air pollution.
- Road closures can cause 75% of traffic to “evaporate”.
Her message was that, at the global level, Â climate change demanded action; whilst at the local level the adverse health effects of private motor vehicles threatened the existence of the NHS as a service provided free at the point of delivery.
Drawing on the example of Seville she advocated that local areas should be prepared with a detailed plan to promote cycling and other forms of active travel Â which will be available when when the political opportunity arises. Â This should include a proper cycling network, as opposed to the current “labyrinth” that is the central London grid.
On the business side (a) we discussed the approach to the forthcoming initial planning meeting on the Stratford gyratory, Â (b) decided to take up an offer from Murray Woodburn from Newham Council to discuss in detail the cycling aspects of the Forest Gate Crossrail improvements, (c) decided to seek details of theÂ junction planned at Â Stratford High St/Sugarhouse Lane and (d) progressed our arrangements for a forthcoming open meeting with Living Streets – now 2 November at 7.30pm, venue to be confirmed.