Arnold Ridout was elected to the Committee as Community Infrastructure/Bespoke Task lead.
It was agreed that Thom Sanders and Olawale Ajibola be added as signatorries to the bank account.
Steve reported that the 2022 ride programme was continuing but he was no longer available for the planned 13 November ride to Hertford.
Arnold updated on plans for the 11 September Bike from Boleyn Ride where the organisers were planning to return to a pre-pandemic scale event.
Rides around potential low traffic neighbourhoods were discussed and agreed.
On bike maintenance:
Bill reported on the success of the Fix Your Ride at the Forest Gate Festival. The next Fix Your Ride session will be at Woodgrange Market on 11 August.
It was agreed that funds could be used for parts to fix bikes donated for refugees.
It was agreed that we would support the local charity Magpie in fixing buggies as this promoted active travel the skills needed were similar to fixing bikes.
Olawale reported and discussion on the extensive and generally positive meeting with the Head of Transport Policies and Programmes for Newham Council. We are grateful for the time he gave us and look forward to the significant developments outlined.
Jonathan reported on developments in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park including the soon to close Westfield Ave consultation (please respond by 30 July if you have not yet done so), Montfichet Rd, possible improvements in the Greenway crossing of the railway line, and the “Leyton Ladder”. He detected a more positive approach to active travel from the authorities.
Olawale reported on the workshop he attended on East Ham Town Centre.
Arnold reported on the development proposal at “Crown Wharf” and was authorised to take forward further discussions with the developers.
Olawale reported on his attendance at the Royal Docks Corridor Construction Liaison meeting, highlighting some of the outstanding issues.
Olawale reported back on the LCC Group Co-ordinators meeting. The most relevent item was that on dangerous junctions.
We agreed to support Tower Hamlets Wheelers in protection of cycle infrastructure in a a manner that they advised. Olawale will liaise.
If you have a question or would like further detail please get in touch.
AAA provided us with the hospitality of their premises at the Arc in the Park, Canning Town. We are very grateful.
In respect of the formal business:
The Draft Annual report (see earlier post) was approved.
The Annual Accounts for 2021/2 and the budget for 2022/3 (see earlier post)were confirmed, having been previously approved by the Committee to meet LCC deadlines.
The following Officers were elected. They will also form the Committee: Co-ordinator – Olawale Ajibola Interim Deputy Co-ordinator and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Representative – Jonathan Rothwell Secretary – Kate Byrne Treasurer – Bill Bremner Deputy Treasurer – Thom Sanders Infrastructure Representative – Chris Kershaw Rides Co-ordinator – Steve Smith Better streets Liaison Officer – Kerena Fussell
The lively discussion that followed covered a number of issues including the need for full consultation on Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and the imperative to respond to the latest consultation on the subject found at newhamco-create.co.uk/en/projects/street-survey, health workers and cycling, the variety of cycle hire schemes in the borough, proposals for Tollgate Rd, the levelling up funding aimed at the south of the borough, Leytonstone Rd, the MSG Sphere, and the QE Olympic Park.
We also discussed some new campaigning tools we could make use of in the forthcoming year which promises to be busy and exciting..
As the weather is looking suitable, May 30 meeting will be an evening ride in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a short stop at the end for (bring your own) coffee/beer and discussion. See events for details. Let me know if there is anything particular you would wish to discuss.
Arrangements for the June 27 Annual meeting are crystallising. It is likely to be at the Terence Brown ARC in Hermitage Rd Park (home of AAA) starting at 7.30pm, with light refreshments. Subject to IT constraints we will try to give a Zoom option.
We are leading a ride for the children’s cycling club at AAA – Ambition Aspire Achieve, from 10am to 1 pm on Saturday, 28 May. If you would like to help on this please let me know.
Our LCC Freecycle feeder ride is Sunday 29 May. There are a lot of sign ups!
We have sought a meeting post election with Councillor James Asser, the re-appointed Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainable Transport. This has ben done in conjunction with Jeremy Leach (20’s Plenty and London Living Streets).
We have contacted Will Norman (the London Mayor’s walking and Cycling Commissioner) concerning the importance of extracting the best active travel benefits from the Twelvetrees/Stephenson St Development opposite West Ham Station.
At the start of the first week of her second term as Mayor of Newham, we received the following email in response to an email sent by Simon Munk at LCC (Comments from us included in our response are set out in red italics):
Thank you for your email to Rokhsana, who is absolutely committed to reducing traffic, making our roads safer and enabling active travel. This was clearly outlined in the Newham Labour manifesto. As you say, this is absolutely in line with the Mayor’s priorities locally and Labour Party policy nationally.
Newham Cyclists recognise that the Labour Manifesto does represent a step change towards rebalancing the Council’s approach in favour of active travel. We very much welcome a shift in priority and recognise the recently positive steps that have been made to promote active travel. However given the low base from which Newham started it is important that this progress is not impeded by the conditions attached to the manifesto promises. In this context we make the following comments.
In her manifesto, the Mayor committed to:
· Consult and work with residents to identify residential roads and areas in the borough that are affected by dangerous driving, rat-runs and traffic congestion to design schemes to make these roads safer, quitter and healthier for all our residents, including wheelchairs users and those with visual impairments and disabilities
Newham Cyclist’s ask was for Borough-wide low traffic neighbourhoods and cycle friendly connection between them.The low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) so far put in place, mostly in the north of the borough have proven to be successful. It is time to go beyond simply identifying areas affected by dangerous driving and congestion. Areas bounded by legitimate through routes (i.e. not rat runs) should be identified as potential LTNs and a rolling plan of implementing them in consultation with residents should be established.
· Making our roads safer places by continuing to target dangerous driving and enforce parking rules across the borough, as well as launch a safety awareness campaign about electrical scooters and bikes
The borough is still plagued by illegal parking as has been recognised for some time, including by local councillors. To “continue” enforcement at the same level does not address this problem. Enforcement has to be improved if it is to become effective in accordance with the Newham Cyclists’ ask.
· Continue to work with residents and TfL on accessible streets, public areas, improved green spaces, public transport facilities and a 20mph speed limit with a focus on making all residential streets safer
Most 20mph areas in Newham are on lesser used residential streets. The real safety dividend comes from an enforced 20mph on busier through roads. A start has been made in odd spots such as Stratford Town Centre. Newham should follow many other London boroughs and apply a 20mph on all its roads (i.e. all but the A13 and A12 trunk roads)
· Continue to work with our schools and parents on the introduction of Healthy School Streets schemes across all schools in Newham to protect our children going to school
Schools should not have a veto on Healthy Schools Streets.
· Install at least 1000 Electric Vehicle charging points across the borough to support the transition to cleaner vehicles, alongside 500 cycle hangars and the expansion of our cycle hire scheme with to encourage more cycle usage
The promise of 500 cycle hangers is notable amongst the active travel manifesto promises as being a concrete, unconditional promise that gives rise to true accountability. It reflects a strong demand in a borough where where space in the flats and terraced houses that predominate is not available to store bikes.
· Work with Transport for London to expand our cycling facilities and cycle routes as part of our plans to create a borough-wide cycle network, including good quality cycle provision for Romford Road and Barking Road
Newham Council needs to recognise that Transport for London is not necessarily a benign promoter of active travel. For example it has been the generator of an antipathetic bus priority scheme on the Barking Road and continues to press for more poor quality schemes. Newham Council needs to insist on schemes that promote safe active travel when pressure from TfL is to the contrary.
· Continue to invest in our road and pavement resurfacing and repair programmes; investing at least £10 million a year. This will deliver a programme of resurfacing and patching works, pavement upgrades including those damaged by overgrown tree roots.
Newham Cyclists would welcome a separate capital programme for improvements specifically aimed at active travel. Prolonging the motor vehicle- centric “Keep Newham Moving” facility is not it.
· Continue with a borough-wide programme to repaint road markings and zebra crossings, alongside improvements to our streets with more trees.
There are further policies in relation to tackling climate emergency and greening the borough also in the manifesto. I hope this confirms the Mayor’s commitments in relation to your asks and she looks forward to working with residents to ensure this is all delivered.
A round of maintenance and a ride with AAA on 21 and 28 May.
We are looking for availability to help with either maintenance or a ride on any of 18 June, 25 June or 16 July.
Freecycle Ride is 29 May. We are looking for more marshals. There are some LCC training spots left.
Regular Fix Your Ride 14 May.
Nature Reserves of the Lea Ride 15 May.
If you would like any more information on any of the above or if you would like to participate in any of them, please let me know.
Accounts: Bill presented the accounts for the year 2021/2. Our position is financially stable and we are well stocked with material for Fix your Ride. The accounts were approved subject to minor editorial amendments. They will appear in the annual report. A budget for 2022/3 will be produced for next month.
At the Newham Council Regeneration and Housing Commission meeting of 21 April which was scrutinising the Council’s performance in promoting active travel we pressed in evidence for improved leverage of active transport benefits from the current rash of developments and learnt that the Council was contemplating full segregation for the funded Romford Rd scheme and learnt that there was likely to be a general bid for capital funding for active travel developments (which has been lacking to date).
We decided to pursue improvements for Temple Mills Lane where the layout creates conflicts between cyclists and buses. We would like to work with Waltham Forest Cyclists and are likely to include a site visit as part of our May meeting ride.
In the absence of early consultation we decided to urgently make our own plan for LTNs 5 and 6 (Woodgrange and Capel). Anyone interested in formulating these should get in touch.
Reactions to the currently temporary LTNs 3 and 4 on the Council’s commonplace site have been muted but generally favourable.
The Redbridge project for Centre Rd, Aldersbrook Rd, Lakehouse Rd and Blake Hall Rd was poor but served to emphasise the need for the Newham end of Centre Rd to be addressed.
The Vision Stratford document was interesting. Individual responses were encouraged.
If you would like further information on any of the above get in touch through the usual channels.
If you haven’t already done so, please take a couple of minutes to email the Mayoral candidates & ask them to support our asks (see Arnold’s post below). As yet, we haven’t had pledges from the Conservative candidate, or the Labour incumbent – despite the Labour Party manifesto covering all the asks in some form!