November News Headlines

It has been an eventful time.

On 22 October a group from Hackney , Newham, Tower Hamlets and LCC headquarters carried out a ride around the Olympic Park and Westfield. A depressing exercise which confirmed the points we have been making throughout the planning process: the cycle provision could be much better; it rarely improves on the minimum laid down in planning guidance; and at times fails even to meet even these standards. Unfortunately the obduracy or Westfield and the complacency of the Olympic Delivery Authority (now transformed into the London Legacy Development Corporation) will result unnecessary expenditure of further public money bringing these brand new area up to standard. it should not have happened.

On 27 October we ran our last ride before the winter sets in – a leisurely and mostly off road ride to the RSPB site at Rainham Marsh and then up the Ingrebourne Valley to Upminister. The weather was pleasant and even the stiff breeze seemed to give us a helping hand whatever direction we cycled. We are now planning our rides for 2014.

The CS2 extension along Stratford High Street has opened (although has not yet been completed). Not perfect but one of the better cycle provisions in London. This progress was sadly marred by the tragic death of another cyclist at TfL’s ill thought through scheme at the Bow Flyover. On 15 November a group from LCC headquarters and ourselves made a post implementation study. The results will feed into our ongoing discussions with Newham Council on its excellent mini-Holland bid (for TFL funding to transform cycling in pilot areas of outer London) and no doubt into the wider Cycle Superhighway upgrading proposals.

In connection with mini-Holland bid we carried out a ride with the Council to study possible routes between Canning Town and Stratford. Whilst the crossing the District and C2C railway lines represents a real problem, the exercise demonstrated the huge potential for permeability in urban Newham – which is a key element of the bid.

We have further provided input into cycle schemes provided for Henniker Rd and Oxford Rd, Stratford; these received a sympathetic reception. We also opposed extending parking on the pavement in Katherine Road, East Ham and have been told this scheme has been abandoned.

It is evident that Newham Council, with its new approach to cycling, is working hard on the details of its mini-Holland bid. We wait in hope as success carries the prospect of transforming cycling in Newham.

Girls Love Bikes Too! ‘Intro’

The pic says it all really. I love cycling and I love my bike but often feel underrepresented by the cycling fraternity at large.
The majority of street cyclists are male and despite the impressive achievements of the British women’s cycling team (and female cyclists in all fields) cycling can still be viewed as a big boys’ club.
Girls Love Bikes Too! is a blog for anyone who experiences the childish joy of riding your bike for no other purpose than peddling around in circles. For those who remember a time when we were unencumbered by bewildering techno jargon, unflattering clothing and safety concerns.
Warning: Girls Love Bikes Too! is a hi-viz, Lycra and gadget free zone!

28 Oct 2013 Evening Meeting

Location and time
View on Yahoo Groups
Author: Arnold, Co-ordinator.
The Rainham ride on Sunday saw a party of 6 enjoy excellent weather before the storm. In fact the blustery wind was behind us most of the way, which was just as well for the two of us who had only limited use of their gears. Large off road tracks along the Greenway, CS3, the old A13 and Rainham marshes saw us get to the RSPB cafe. After refreshment back up the Ingrebourne Valley (again off road) to Upminister to catch the train back to West Ham to batten the hatches.

Richard updated on the mini-Holland bid. The deadline for the full bid is 13 December. The Council have set up a proper governance arrangement (including political input). We have started a “snagging list” of any possible cycle improvements, particularly those that would increase permeability in “urban Newham” – however large or small, from wrong signage to the possibilities of new cycle paths. This will complement the “snagging list” for the Olympic Park and Westfield which is being started with assistance from LCC HQ, Hackney and Tower Hamlets, all of whom participated in a ride around the area last week. If you have a suggestion on how the cycle provision can be improved please let me know and I will add it to the list. A photograph would help. A list will be going to the Council by mid-November at the latest as part of our input to the mini-Holland bid, and thereafter we will keep the list updated as a point of reference. There appears a real opportunity to translate good ideas into practice.

Rob demonstrated the pilot edition of our new website, which looked very attractive and user friendly. We will play about with this and upload some content between now and Christmas. It is, of course, absolutely essential that we keep this up to date when it goes live after this. To this end we have started a rota of volunteers who will look each month and update the news page If you would like to be on that rota (which would involve updating the news page not more than three times per year) or if you have any articles that you would like to see published on the website please contact me in the first instance.

We confirmed that our ride programme for next year would comprise about 4 “Newham Rides” linked as far as possible to cycling events and starting at the View Tube, plus one per month more extensive weekend rid, plus contributing to rides organised by Tower Hamlets Wheelers, e.g. by organising a pick up point or feeder ride. For the moment we need to fix the dates for the “Newham Rides” so we can maximise the publicity. There will of course be a rides section on our website.

Good news on the Greenwich and Woolwich Foot Tunnels, on whose “Friends Group” (FOGWOFT) Mike has been representing us. It looks like Greenwich Council will now put lifts into the Woolwich Tunnel and they are prepared to deep clean both.

We have been consulted by the Council

on early consideration of a good cycle route from Canning Town to Stratford. If you would like to participate in this or have any good ideas let me know.
on changes to Katherine Rd which involve more parking on the pavement. In view of the opposition of Members to this I will be submitting an objection (again) unless I hear otherwise.

The LCC campaign focus next year is on the Local Elections. I have already circulated their call for local ward champions. If you would like to do this please let them (and me) know. I can provide further info if needed.