16 of us gathered together via Zoom for a meeting that focussed on catching up on our current activities.
Since the November meeting there had been a good deal of activity. We had provided formal consultation responses on the Royal Docks Cycling and Walking Strategy, Newham Council’s Local Plan refresh and the Prince Regent Lane Bus Priority Scheme. In addition to specific details relating to each consultation our responses drew on some common and familiar themes:
- A robust approach to installing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods;
- A need for better north-south routes in Newham;
- The potential for better leverage for cycle schemes from major developments;
- The need for bus schemes to improve (and not hinder) active travel;
- Bus lanes to operate 24 hours;
- 20 mph speed limit;
- Enforcement of parking rules.
We have also chased up on: installation of the cameras to enforce the closure in Corporation St; improvement of Penny Brookes St and ;drop kerbs for access to the newly opened Gainsborough Bridge in the Olympic Park.
By way of good news Newham are making permanent 2 of the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (Maryland and Odessa) . We hope this is a sign of continuing progress in installing all of the 7 funded schemes.
We discussed the issue of access to the new City Hall which had given rise to significant social media activity. The closure of Dock St is a serious blockage to cycle access which we have raised in consultations but needs to be pursued further.
In December we met with Thames Water and Newham Council in relation to the Greenway/Stratford High Street works. The situation has improved.
We are in preliminary discussions with medics from Barts Health Trust on liaison in promoting cycling for health and wellbeing.
We were updated in progress (or lack of it) in getting Marshgate Lane maintained to a reasonable standard for cycling.
It was decided that the time was ripe to seek another catch up meeting with Newham Council to discuss these and other infrastucture issues.
The news from LCC was that the Climate Safe Streets campaign in the lead up to the local elections in May has had its soft launch. We have contributed our list of 5 specific Newham “asks” to be part of that campaign.
We are putting together our rides calendar and will be looking at liaising with other local groups which organise rides.
We discussed what we might do to promote the recent changes to the Highway Code. If you are interested in helping make a short film on Sunday 6 February let me know.
We discussed the benefits of having volunteers trained (by the Metropolitan Police) to mark bikes as part of their campaign to recruit volunteers – https://www.met.police.uk/car/careers/met/police-volunteer-roles/community-based-volunteers/overview/
We were encouraged, as individuals, to respond to Newham Council’s budget proposals which appears to be light on commitment to fund active travel: https://www.newham.gov.uk/council/engagement-newham-council-budget-2021
We decided to hold our annual meeting at the end of April and discussed possible venues for this and for face to face monthly meetings.
Going forward the Committee of Newham Cyclists will be changing. We will be looking to improve both gender balance and diversity.
If you would like any further information on any of these items please get in touch.