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.