Read out from 31 January 2022 Meeting

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.

Readout from November 2021 Meeting

We were again meeting via Zoom.

The Walking and Cycling Project Manager from LLDC, Monique Van Den Hurk, kindly joined us and our discussion with her occupied the main part of the meeting. She explained her role and outlined some of the forthcoming projects. These represented slow but welcome progress in correcting the disappointing original cycle provision in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Westfield area.

The discussion afterwards covered specific schemes ; but also included the more general issues of the conflict between pedestrians and cyclists in the Park, the usage of the Park for commuter and utility cycling, the need for traffic management plans for forthcoming major developments.

If you have any specific QUEP points let us know and we can pick them up with Monique and via our representation on the LLDC Strategic Active Travel Group.

In view of the forthcoming Climate Safe Streets Campaign we discussed what Newham Specific “asks” should be fed into that campaign. The results of the straw poll will be worked up by our infrastructure team and the rest of the Committee.

Other points arising:

  • LCC are refreshing their diversity and inclusion policy and will be reaching out to local groups. This will be a useful stimulus for us to consider anew our outreach and the diversity and inclusion of the group in representing the increasingly diverse range of those cycling in Newham.
  • Changes to Riverside Rd and Bisson Rd area linked to the Stratford high Street works disadvantage those cycling.
  • We have been participating in the consultations on Newham Council’s refreshment of its Local Plan in respect of transport. This has the potential to be of great benefit over the medium to long term in leveraging benefit to cycle provision from future developments in the borough. The Council’s new approach demonstrates a greater appreciation of the need to promote active travel, but could usefully tighten up on delivery.
  • We have also been liaising with the planners of the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone and the the Wider Opportunity area and its surrounding area. Again the planners show appreciation of the need to good cycle facilities. Our interventions have been aimed particularly at providing more specific detail.
  • We are looking to deliver Christmas parcels for Magpie by bike on 10 and 11 December. This is an opportunity to demonstrate and publicise the potential of sustainable delivery.
  • Our Christmas Social will take place on the evening of 13 December at the Wanstead Tap.

If you would like any more details on any of the above or on any other matter pertaining to cycling in Newham please get in touch.

Arnold

Readout from 25 October Meeting

We reverted back to Zoom for this meeting. Issues discussed were:

  • Infrastructure developments in the light of our catch up meeting on 1 October with Newham Council and a meeting with the Royal Docks team who were putting together a walking and cycling strategy.

    We have been asked to attend a workshop for the transport section of the revision of the Local Plan.

    There is a ride of the south section of the Roding Way on Friday 29 October which is open to all.

    Whilst low traffic neighbourhoods across the north of Newham make Quietway 6 less critical there is still a major safety issue at Temple Mills Lane and we should be wary of supporting signing this as a safe cycleway.

  • John outlined the initiative he was taking for outreach in the Plaistow area and in conjunction with Living Streets. We discussed ideas for progressing this in the new year and in particular the implications of supporting a cycle buddy scheme.

  • In addition to the Roding ride on 29 October we are planning support sessions for the Ambition, Aspire, Achieve children’s cycle club on 6 and 20 November, a Fix Your Ride at Woodgrange Market on 13 November and a local ride in association with GoParks on 14 November.

  • We will be looking to put on a Christmas lights Ride on 12 December and a Christmas Social sometime in the second week of December

If you would like further information on any of the matters raised at this meeting or any other local cycling matters please get in touch.

Arnold

October 2021 Catch Up

The beginning of the month saw a welcome return of the catch up meetings with the cycling Senior Project Officer of Newham Council. A list of borough wide cycling issues revised in the light of that meeting is here. Please get in touch if there are any issues (big or small) which you think are missing. It will help our infrastructure team ensure that they do not fall off the radar.

At short notice we attended a useful and positive discussion with the Royal Docks team who are preparing a walking and cycling strategy for the area. The success of this could have huge benefits for a large chunk of the borough.

We are hoping to resume our partnership work with the the children’s cycling clubs of the charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve. This involves having a bike fixing/checking session one Saturday followed by a ride the next. If you would like to get involved in either or both of these activities please get in touch. You can then be included in the exercise of sorting out convenient dates.

Save the dates:

  • Our next meeting will be the evening of 25 October. Details to follow. Get in touch if there are issues that you would like included on the agenda.
  • Fix your Ride at Woodgrange Market is 13 November.
  • An autumn warmer Newham Ride is planned for 14 November.
  • Our November meeting which the Walking and cycling Project Manager at LLDC has agreed to attend will be on 29 November.

Arnold

Readout from September 27 Meeting

Despite gathering gloom 12 of us made it for a ride down Quietway 6 and around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where Jonathan explained developments, or lack of developments (as the case may be) at Temple Mills Lane, Abercrombie Rd, Northwall, Waterden Rd and Monier Rd Bridge and Westfield Avenue.

At a short meeting afterwards there were the following matters were discussed:

  • We agreed to invite the LLDC Sustainable Transport Officer to our October meeting – due on 25 October. This is likely to take place by Zoom.
  • There is a ride along the Roding Way on 1 October with representatives from Stephen Timms’ Office and Newham Council.
  • On the same day there is a resumption of our catch up meetings with Newham Council. It will be based around a revised chart of cycling issues. If you have any additional suggestions of cycling issues you would like raised please get into contact with me; including gaps in existing cycling provision.
  • We agreed to a further round of bike fixing and rides with the children’s cycling club of “Ambition, Aspire, Achieve” on suitable Saturdays. Further notices will go out to find suitable dates but if you would like to participate please get in touch with me.
  • Next rides are: a short Bike from Boleyn linked to the West Ham game on 3 October and a Newham Ride on 10 October.
  • We have been busy with Fix Your Ride stalls at Woodgrange Market and the Carpenters Estate. The next Woodgrange Fix Your Ride is 9 October.
  • Consultation responses have been submitted on 2 minor changes to the existing Low traffic Neighbourhoods and to Thames Water in respect of the weight limit on Stratford High Street.
  • Jonathan is continuing to film major local cycling routes. If you would like to help in this enterprise get in touch with me.

If you would like any further information on any of the above please get in touch with me.

Arnold

August Catch Up

As we will not be having an August meeting this is a catch of of what has been happening and a preview of what is going on in September.

Our Fix your Ride facility has been in great demand. Whilst we were not able to do our usual Woodgrange Market stall this month we have been on the road with two sessions in the Royal Docks with Newham Wellness on 3 and 4 August, for a Sikh charity ride on 8 August (see picture) and with Dovetail on the Carpenters Estate on 20 August.

Green Street was the mid point in a 60 mile charity ride. We provided some mechanical aid.

There is great demand for Fix your Ride. If you would like to help in fixing or simply advising on cycling in Newham let me know. Our normal Fix Your Ride service resumes at Woodgrange Market on 11 September and there will be a Further opportunity at the Ambition Aspire Achieve Charity Festival (to mark their 5 years and as a tribute to their founder Kevin Jenkins). We have been working with AAA for a number of years supporting their Children’s Cycle Club.

Our ride calendar has been disrupted by the pandemic but there will be a Newham Ride on 29 August – see events section.

Finally there are a number of important infrastructure developments.

  • We have suggested ways of alleviating the dangers caused to cyclists by the long term diversion of heavy goods vehicles from Stratford High Street.
  • We have supported Redbridge Cyclists in respect of (poor) proposals for Centre Rd, Aldersbrook Rd, Lake House Rd – important connections to the north of Newham.
  • We are considering a raft of “bus enhancement” proposals for the Barking Rd and Plaistow High Street which do little if anything to improve cycling along what are recognised by TfL to be among the most important strategic cycle routes in London.

Please get in touch if you would like more info on any of the above.

Arnold

Forest Gayte Pride Ride

On Saturday we were delighted to lead our first ever Pride Ride as part of the events of Forest Gayte Pride! Less than 10 miles of easy riding, but we managed to take in 4 historic LGBT venues in Stratford & Maryland as well as the only one still existing in the borough as we passed through the Olympic Park.

Numbers were a bit lower than hoped, as less than half of those who had booked actually turned up, but everyone who joined us – most of whom hadn’t ridden with us before -had a great time and the sun shone upon us!

Most riders really embraced the spirit – wearing rainbow colours (beautifully demonstrated by Steve and Anita!) and flags decorated our rider leader and all our marshals’ bikes.

Most of our route was on quiet roads – other than a small section on Romford Road and Woodgrange Road, where we were reminded of the lack of good infrastructure for cycling! However, we really enjoyed the majority of the ride which took us through LTNs and were a delight!

Readout from 26 July 2021 Meeting

Pleasant weather for an evening ride from Canning Town through the Royal Docks Corridor and on to the Red Lion at East Ham. The purpose was to look at the route being currently consulted upon, which ends on 30 July. We have already fed in a detailed collective response (which can be provided on request) but individual responses are needed. The main issues that became apparent were:

  • The northbound section at Canning Town bus Station.
  • The width of the cycle lanes/tracks.
  • Avoiding left hooks at main junctions.
  • Priority for cycle lanes at junctions with minor roads.

There was a lot of catching up in the discussion afterwards:

  • We are going to do Fix Your Ride sessions in the Royal Docks area; at Waterside Park E16 2FN on 3 August and at RADLAC, Albert Rd E16 2JB on 4 August – each from 10am-4pm (with breaks). If you would like to help on either of these days, even if for a part only, please get in touch with me.
  • Funding is available for improving access to green space through the Grow Back Greener Fund. If you have a good scheme for a parklet let me know. There are a few weeks to formulate a scheme.
  • Next rides are Forest Gate Pride on 14 August and a Newham Ride on 29 August – likely a boundary of the borough ride to take in the current Roding way route and look at future possibilities.
  • We have met with the re-formed Redbridge LCC and have current shared issues with the poor proposals by Redbridge Council for Centre Rd and Aldersbrook Rd. consultation on the Aldersbrook Rd scheme was previously limited to residents of the Aldersbrook Estate, but has not been widened, so Newham users can make their views known.
  • We discussed how to campaign for improvement on the Leyton section of Quietway 6. This will be picked up by the Committee.
  • We discussed developments in the QE Olympic Park including the forthcoming opening of Monier Rd Bridge. There is progress but slower than we would have liked. We will invite an LLDC rep to our September meeting.
  • We are continuing to film routes – so all ideas for routes to film gratefully received.
  • Stratford High Street is going to be subject to major works so we discussed how best to ensure cycle safety, particularly at Marshgate Lane which is likely to get busy. This will also be picked up by the Committee.
  • The Greenway ramp to Newham Hospital has opened at long last. Huzzah!

If you would like further information on any of the above please get in touch.

Arnold