If you have started cycling during the current crisis or have newly returned and would like some helpful advice this is available from the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) and Newham Cyclists, the borough section of the LCC. Resources available include:
An LCC helpline: You can access the free advice service via Facebook Messenger at https://www.facebook.com/LondonCyclingCampaign or 020 7234 9310 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be connected with LCC representatives, who have a wealth of cycling information and knowledge and will be on hand to advise people on basic cycle skills, locking and parking bikes, safe route planning, where to buy bikes and gear, and cycling safely in traffic including near HGVs and lorries.
Free LCC Membership for NHS staff: LCC has 11,500 members who pay an annual subscription and support the charity’s campaigning and cycling promotion work. They get benefits including free liability insurance, access to cycling news and information, free legal advice and a range of discounts. Individual members normally pay £49/year but staff working for London NHS trusts or at London hospitals can access membership for free for an initial period of three months, which may be extended if the coronavirus crisis continues beyond June.
Newham specific advice from local cyclists: e-mail us at email@example.com letting us know in general terms what your query is and how you wish to be contacted and we will get in touch and try to answer.
This was our first attempt at a virtual meeting which, despite glitches, was judged a success by the 15 who participated.
We discussed the operation of the group during the current Covid 19 crisis and the various ways in which we could help.
We decided (a) to hold a virtual, short form Annual Meeting next month; (b) to subscribe to Zoom; and (c) to investigate further with LCC the approach by Newham Council to relaxation of parking enforcement, in the light of the opportunity to exploit the benefits of active travel. For example, there was an opportunity for some temporary cycle lanes on some of the very worst roads within the QEOP.
We agreed the broad lines of next year’s budget, which should enable us to keep about £500 in reserve to meet LCC’s suggestion to local groups to avoid spending their reserves at present. We decided not to press for the usual payment from LCC based on membership given the circumstances.
There was a general infrastucture update and focussing on the light phasing at Stratford Town Centre.
We held a very useful catch up meeting with Newham Council Officials on 6 March 2020 following which our chart of cycle issues has been updated. Please let me know if you have any questions on this or any infrastructure issue you would like to add to the chart to ensure it is followed up.
Storm Dennis seemed to quickly follow storm Ciara and the weather remained rather blustery for our ride on Sunday. Despite this a hardy group of seven showed up at Leytonstone, we were lucky in avoiding the rain and wind was at our back for at least half of the ride. The route was different this time as we started riding from Theydon Bois and rode an anti-clockwise circuit to the disused Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch.
We had lunch in the bunker canteen and took the “rollercoaster” back from Toot Hill to Epping.
14 of us gathered at the Velodrome after the successful Greenway Ride which also featured the participation of Newham Community Dogwalkers.
There has been positive engagement from all the Newham Councillors we had contacted following the previous meeting and also Mr Desai, the London Assembly Member for the area and Chair of its Police Committee The only non-response had been from Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling commissioner.
Newham Councillors reported from a meeting earlier on 24 February that police action had led to a significant downturn in incidents. We decided to take up offers of meetings with Mr Desai, and James Beckles, Newham Cabinet Member for Crime and Community Safety, and discussed a number of steps that could be taken to ensure that crime is prevented in the future.
We decided to respond positively to the forthcoming consultation by Newham Council on its emission based scheme for charging for parking permits. Whilst this may not go as far as we would have liked we believe our support as an organisation and individually is the best way forward on a matter we ourselves had raised with the Council last year.
We looked at our forthcoming rides and activities. 29 February and the 7 March see our first round of support for the AAA children’s cycling club in Canning Town. 14 March will be our first Fix Your Ride in Woodgrange Market. The Much Hadham Ride is on 22 March. Bike from Boleyn will now take place on 2 May.
We discussed the practicalities of the proposed new Newham Parks Ride on 24 May, during Newham Heritagae month. Also, in the light of their awkward timing we felt that our participation in the Forest Gate Festival may need to be limited; and that we were unable to organise a Stratford Feeder Ride to the Freecycle event on 15 August.
A series of “Zero Vision ” walks of the Romford Rd is being undertaken by TfL and Newham Council this week to assess what improvements in ennforcement could reduce accidents. On Monday we were the only community group to attend this.
On infrastructure, our next catch up meeting with Newham Council officials will be on 6 March. Members are invited to raise any concerns they have which could be addressed at this meeting. We decided that we could respond to a consultation on the shortening of the 101 bus route insofar as it related to our overall aim of promoting active travel and insofar as it raised particular cycling issues.
Views were canvassed on the LCC policy on charging motor vehicles using East London Bridges in anticipation of an LCC Policy Forum meeting on 27 February and on the Crossrail improvements in response to an academic study.
We were reminded of the “Heathy Streets Scorecard” on the CPRE and LCC website which was being revisited this year, and invited to contribute views on how the metrics of this survey could be improved for the purposes of a forthcoming update.
Our next meeting is at the Velodrome on 24 February at 7.30pm.
As we decided at our January meeting we are riding along the Greenway before this meeting to draw attention to the recent increase in crime along it. We will meet at 6.15pm at the East Ham end where the Greenway meets High Street South. We hope to be joined by other Greenway Stakeholders.
Come along to the meeting or the ride, even if you cannot make the other.
Let me have any issues you want to put on the agenda for the meeting either by e-mail or the Group.IO.
At the moment I current issues are:
A response to some academic research on Forest Gate “improvements”;
Forthcoming rides and events including our monthly “Fix your Ride”; Bike from Boleyn (2 May) a possible Newham Parks Ride in partnership with the CPRE (24 May);
Our Annual Meeting in April;
Infrastructure, including items for catch up meeting with Newham Council scheduled for 6 March.
13 gathered at the Denmark Arms on 27 January (with 2 apologies) to discuss Newham cycling matters.
The main topic was the Greenway. There has been an increasing spate of assaults aimed at cyclists and members had even been advised by the police not to use the Greenway in the evenings. Coincidentally this was the subject of a post by “Diamond Geezer” (a walker, not a cyclist) the same day. The areas of the assaults seem to have spread and to be deliberately targeting cyclists. Lighting has gone into the stretch north of the Greenway and the police are engaged. However, the situation is untenable as the Greenway is a designated Cycle Quietway annd was recently upgraded upgraded for 24 hour usage.
We decided to write with our concerns to local politicians and those responsible for law enforcement in the area and to cycle the length of the upgraded Greenway to our next meeting on 24 February from East Ham to the Olympic Park.
We looked at our partnerships with Ambition, Aspire, Achieve (AAA), Bike from Boleyn and the Women’s Institute and decided how we could take these forward in the forthcoming year.
We discussed outstanding major consultations (a) The MSG Sphere (which we have previously objected to) has returned with minor tweaks and remains unsatisfactory for cyclists. All are encouraged to register their objections on the grounds that there is inadequate provision for cycle parking and for cycle infrastructure around it. We will also be registering our continuing objection. (b) Newham Council’s proposal for an interim scheme for Odessa Rd E7 was perplexing as there is an outstanding application to TfL (in conjunction with Waltham Forest) for funding for a low traffic neighbourhood. We will be registering detailed objections on the basis that the scheme fails to prevent rat running and incorporate suggestions made at the meeting.
Other continuing problems were highlighted; the Browning Road scheme; the failure to install the promised cameras in school streets; and the chronic failure to enforce traffic and parking rules; and the Stratford Town Centre snagging list. We will pursue these and seek a further catch up meeting with Council Officers and seek to meet the TfL offer now responsible for Liveable Neighbourhoods in Newham.
Steve reported that the ride season had started with the Greensted Church ride and will gain momentum as the weather improves. We looked at additions and tweaks to the ride calendar.
On communications, Kerena reported that the website problems had been fixed. The migration from Yahoo Group to Groups IO seems to be smooth.
We have an aspiration to obtain an electric cargo bike and will continue to explore how we might fund this and look for places where it might be kept.
Jonathan drew attention to the need for better cycle facilities in the area of Stratford International Station, in the form of cycle hire or ideally a cycle hub.
For the last few years we have been helping the Saturday children’s cycle club of this charity by organising rounds of bike checking (first Saturday) and leading a ride on the Greenway/QEOP (second Saturday). Each take place between 10.30 am and 1.00pm. The club is based at the Arc in Hermit Rd Park.
We are now looking at our 2020 arrangements and, in particular, doing another three rounds before the summer break on the following possible dates: 29/2 (checking) and 7/3 (ride); 16/5 (checking) & 23/5 (ride); 30/5 (checking) & 6/6 (ride); 27/6 (checking) and 4/7 (ride); 18/7 (checking) and 25/7 (ride).
The rides have been greatly appreciated by the children who have visibly improved their cycling. They are good fun to participate in.
We are looking for volunteers to help. If you could assist on any of these dates please let me know via the e-mail address given on this website. If you would prefer to be involved only in either the rides or the checking that would be fine, or if you are only avaiable for one or some of these dates.
Also AAA are planning to establish another childrens weekend cycling club at the Abbey Lane open space just off Stratford High St. Plans for this are still in development but if you would be interested in contributing to this please also let me know.
For the third year in succession our first ride of the year was to Greensted. The weather was fine as before but the route was different as was the lunch stop. We went north from Epping to North Weald and had a brief stop at the well preserved station there. The single track railway began life as an extension of the Great Eastern Railway. We then took the back route through to Tylers Green, Moreton and Bobbingworth, twice crossing the A414. We passed the disused Blake Hall station, over the railway and on to Greensted and St Andrews, the oldest wooden church (circ 845AD). The road then led us through Stanford rivers to Toot Hill and Fiddlers Hamlet, where we had a good lunch at the Theydon Oak. From there it was a short distance to Epping station and the train back although three of our group decided to ride back to Newham and burn some more calories Thanks to Robin for the photos on the link below, if you scroll to the end there are three aerial photos taken by Chas using a drone giving an unusual perspective