Readout from April 2014 Meeting

We fitted in a lot of decisions and a lot of discussion.  Please note the many dates for your diary.
We decided:
  • To run a stall at Forest Gate Festival on 21 June and ensure one way or another that there was also a Dr Bike. Also to explore the possibility of a bike marking session from the Met Police.  Let me know if you could do a stint on the tall for however long or short a period.
  • To man a stall at the Forest Gate flea market on 18 May (subject to confirmation that we can).  This could be used for the Space for Cycling Campaign which will still be current.  Again if you could do a stint let me know.
  • To run a feeder ride with Tower Hamlets to the LCC central London ride on 17 May co-ordinating also with Redbridge.  There will be a met in forest Gate and a fixed pick up at a suitable point in Stratford.  We will go through the Olympic Park and by canal to the Green Bridge to meet Tower Hamlets Wheelers.  Again let me know if you would like to assist (essentially backmarking the group).
  • Our fourth Newham Ride will be on 7 September (subject to being able to access Cody Dock).
  • To print business type cards to distribute with our contact details.  Bill’s mock up met with universal delight.
  • To update our general leaflet and get it professionally printed.
  • To add  British Cycling rides in and around the Olympic Park and the Lea Valley to our events calendar.
  • To design and purchase a pop up banner.
  • To explore the possibilities for publicity in the margins of the Tour de France on 7 July.
  • To categorise our rides.
  • To run the Rainham March ride on 5 October
  • To publicise convenient group rides - 20 July to Southend and 27 July to Cambridge.
  • To convert our next meeting into an evening ride around the Olympic Park ending up at the  Brewery Tap cafe in Forest Gate.  Due to Bank Holiday (when there will not be our usual Monday meeting) this will take place on Tuesday 3 June starting at Forest Gate market site (corner of Sebert and Woodgrange Roads) at 7.00pm aiming to get back to the cafe at 8.30pm.  Please note that this is a change of date from that discussed at the meeting due to availability of the cafe.  As it will be opening specially for us can you please let me know if you are wishing to come along, so we have an idea of numbers.
As if all that was not enough we also managed to fit discussion on the reaction from local candidates to the space for Cycling Campaign (poor, despite our efforts which were selected for special plaudits by the LCC) and an in depth discussion of cycle provisions and culture in the light of the recent presentation at the Dutch embassy.
A final date reminder – ride to the petrified oaks of Mundon deep in the Essex countryside on 24 August. 
 
Thanks to everyone for their contributions to a lively meeting.
Arnold

Girls Like Bikes Too! ‘Old Bike, New Shoes’

I’ve made two rather exciting purchases recently – a swanky pair of John Fluevog brogues (www.fluevog.com) and my gorgeous vintage bike. The brogues were a holiday present from me and are not only the most stylish, but the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve ever owned. ‘Poppy’ is an Elswick Hopper Safeway manufactured around 1975 and purchased from the gang at The Emporium, Number8 Forest Gate (Twitter: @number8FG).

Poppy came with all the original fixtures and fittings including Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub gears, y-breaks (I think that’s what they’re called) and an enormous double sprung saddle. Unfortunately, despite being well cared for she did need some renovation. The rubber of the original black tyres was cracked and dry so they’ve been replaced with funky cream Schwalbe ones (www.schwalbe.co.uk/) to match the plastic pedals and handlebar grips. The saddle, sadly (and despite the springs) was too painful to contemplate and has been put into storage. I’m now comfortably ‘resting my laurels’ on my Brooks Team Pro saddle – bliss (www.brooksengland.com).

Whilst I can change tyres and break pads I’m no way near clever enough to know whether a bike’s road worthy or not so my friend TR’s coming round to give her the once-over (https://facebook/LondonBicycleClinic) before we go whizzing (ever so sedately) into the sunset seeking beautiful cycling accessories!

Newham support for Space for Cycling

It’s not good reading, but I’ve just spent a bit of time going through the ‘Action’ website to list all our wards, the candidates in them and the support so far.  If you haven’t yet contacted your candidates through the website, please do.  If you HAVE contacted them and they aren’t yet supporting, please feel free to harangue them.  Obviously in a nice polite ‘tinging of the bell’ kind of way.  Twitter is a good medium for this if you use it!

S4C Ward by Ward support

Space for Cycling update

SPACE FOR CYCLING update:

So far we have ‘action’ in 14 of our 20 wards. This is a great start – but we need to get all wards covered and as many candidates as possible supporting.

Please, head over to www.action.spaceforcycling.org and do your bit.

The specific wards with no action so far are:

Wall End: https://action.space4cycling.org/data/ward/1220

Green Street East: https://action.space4cycling.org/data/ward/1226

Green Street West:
https://action.space4cycling.org/data/ward/1223

East Ham Central:
https://action.space4cycling.org/data/ward/1210

East Ham South:
https://action.space4cycling.org/data/ward/1214

Boleyn:
https://action.space4cycling.org/data/ward/1207

Readout from Annual Meeting of 31 March

An interesting and lively meeting.  On the formal side we approved an annual report and accounts. Arnold Ridout  and Kerena Fussell were elected as joint co-ordinatorsand Bill Bremner re-appointed as Treasurer.
We had wide ranging discussions:
  • Richard outlined the positive future for potentially transformative cycle provision, funded from a variety of sources) despite the fact that Newham had not achieved mini-Holland status.  Still very much on the radar are:  quietways (Stratford to Ilford, Stratford to East ham, improvements to the Greenway, improvement to the Greenway.  A new “Roding Way” along the line of the A 406 was being considered; the extension of CS2 to Ilford remained in the lap of TfL; removal of the Stratford gyratory is now on the TfL junctions improvement programme.
  • Olawale reported on progress on the ward audit.  The intensive series of rides had taken place which has identified over 500 schemes for minor works to improve permeability.  Cycle contraflows in quiet one way streets dominate, but also there were some significant link-path creation and improvement possibilities.  There would shortly be a consultation on prioritisation for the £100,000 per year funding available over the next three years.  We will try to make photos available.
  • We have completed our ward asks for the LCC’s Space for Cycling campaign and everyone was encouraged to use the LCC website to lobby local councillors.  This should raise the profile of cycling.   We considered favourably a feeder ride to the “Big Ride” in central London on 17 May.  An idea for events was to have stalls in markets with Dr Bike.
  • The first Newham Ride was considered a successful start to our rides season.  We need to ensure photos are available for future publicity by obtaining consents of even doing a special photo shoot.  We will fix a late summer autumn version and advertise British Cycling Olympic Park/Lea Valley rides.  Additionally we will continue with some weekend rides in conjunction with Tower Hamlets and Hackney.  Our summer meetings will be short evening rides/picnics.
  • We decided to consider further whether to support the Stop Silvertown Tunnel campaign.
  • Karena outlined progress on communications.  We will seek to progress further with Twitter feeds, and produce small publicity cards/leaflets which can be left at strategic spots such as the View Tube.

Newham Ride

The ride season got off to a good start with over 15 joining in the first Newham Ride.  Fortunately the weather was excellent and there was improved access to the Olympic Park.  Having taken a look at the northern section of the Olympic park we moved down the river Lea to Cody Dock where Simon, who runs it, outlined his successes to date in carving out a new riverside community facility and his exciting plans for the future.

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We moved down to the River Thames for a lunch break at Trinity Buoy Wharf.

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Then through the Royal Docks to  Thames Barrier Park, with its riverside pavilion and view of the Thames Barrier.

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We then wended our way back via Beckton and the Geeway to the View Tube for a well deserved piece of cake and cup of tea.  For the majority of the riders there were significant new discoveries and for all of us a pleasant reminder of our interesting borough.

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News Update

This is a news update to sight everyone on what is current, before the annual meeting on 31 March.

Sadly Newham’s mini-Holland bid was unsuccessful, but there are positives to come out of the exercise, and Councillor Christie has been in touch to outline these.  In fact there remains a good chance Newham may get most of what it bid for (albeit through different pots of money).   For example Stratford gyratory has been listed amongst the junctions for improvement, TfL has committed support for the Leaway (Cody Dock to Canning Town)  and there is likely to be support for the Greenway improvement and linked quietways. CS2 to Ilford may come from the CS programme.

Disappointingly our request for Upper St to have a 20mph limit was overruled. on the following grounds:   “Being a bus route and major road link in the borough it was agreed that it was not appropriate to install speed reducing features on Upper Road to bring the speed limit down to 20mph, and that the objection be overruled”  It is particularly retrograde to treat Upper St as a major through road, which it should be not and does not have to be; and then to use that as an excuse to allow motor vehicles to use it at a dangerous speed.  Cyclists and pedestrians have to pay for the police and the Council’s unwillingness to enforce traffic rules.

I have been given a design for Carpenter’s Rd for when it is opened as a through route.  This is a key Olympic Park connection route.  A 20 mph limit is proposed (it is a bus route and a through route which makes Upper St even less understandable).  It looks like cyclists are being pushed back onto the carriageway from shared paths in the railway tunnel.  I have sought further clarification.

  • The Council have adopted Honour Lea Avenue.  This is the key east west cycle route through the Olympic Park for which LLDC left its miserly and minimal cycle facilities – in particular a two way cycle track on only one side of the road.  Fortunately the Council in this instance recognises that the cycling provision should be better (indeed throughout the Olympic Park and Westfield areas).  So still lots to play for here. On the bright side,  the crossing over this River Lea on this route (near the Copper Box) has been left as stairs and a lift.  This was a matter of constant objection from LCC and it now looks like something better is going to happen.
  • Sandringham Rd and Cramner Rd cycle contraflows, as request by us,  are now going to be put in place (albeit later than the one introduction of the one-way schemes).

 

The “No to Sivertown Tunnel” have campaign have written to seek support, financial or otherwise.

The first of this year’s Newham Rides had a good turnout this Saturday and excellent weather.

INTERNATIONAL (cycling) WOMEN’S DAY – 4th March 2014

In celebration of International Women’s Day LCC will be linking to blogs from women talking about LCC and their ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign. They’ve kindly asked if I’d like to participate so here goes!

Hmmm, maybe a bit of background about me first. My name is Lisa and I’m a gardener based in Forest Gate. I can usually be seen trundling my kit up and down the local streets in a shopping trolley with red roses stuck to the front. My sister-in-law’s nickname for me is ‘born too late’ as my heart resides in the 1940’s, hence my business being called London Land Girl. As far as my cycling style is concerned that also seems to be stuck in the 1940’s. I’m a heel wearing, no helmet, anti-Lycra, no to hi-viz kind of girl.

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I started cycling again in 2008 as I suppose like many adults I hadn’t been on a bike since I was a kid. At the age of 7 I can remember being very proud of my brand new, shiny, bright red Chopper bike and riding it round and around the square of grass outside our flat in Bethnal Green – no particular place to go and for no other reason than I could and because it gave me such great joy to do so! Today the joy’s still there but the bike is not so shiny or new as I’m riding a 38yr old Elswick Hopper Safeway. Still bright red though!

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For me LCC’s ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign is about sharing that childhood joy with as many people as possible by fostering a society of competent and confident cyclists and ensuring they have a secure environment in which to pursue that joy. Hopefully the provision of safe integrated cycling in our towns and cities will not only improve the overall environment of town centres (benefitting everyone not just cyclists) but also relieve the tensions that exist between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, of which I’m fully aware as I am a cyclist, pedestrian and car owner all rolled into one.

For me not being a member of LCC is pure madness for anyone who cycles – why wouldn’t you want to be part of an organisation that’s fighting your corner for you?

LCC is the voice of reason in a sea of nonsensical and contradictory legislation so join up today - your cyclists need you!