Out annual account for 2014-15 is below:
Our annual report is available via this link (right click to open) :
Out annual account for 2014-15 is below:
Our annual report is available via this link (right click to open) :
With the weather looking dry, breakfast and/or morning coffee having been taken at the view Tube, 20 of us set out for Ware along the Lea Valley. Our group included guests from Romford, Stockwell and Greenwich.
With only minor mishaps (one puncture and one deviation from the route) we managed to reach coffee/lunch at the white Water Centre.
With time getting on we decided that Broxbourne was far enough, so we fixed the second puncture and enjoyed a breeze assisted ride back to the View Tube with occasional glimpses of sunshine.
Thanks to Chris Kendrick for leading us for this enjoyable 40 mile jaunt and to Simon Leicester for the photos.
(If you would like to see the drawings and notices please contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our objections have been lodged in the following terms:
Newham Cyclists object to the plans for the Upton Corridor.
Upton Lane is a combination of residential and shopping with access from it to both parks and schools. Furthermore the section of Upton Lane from St Georges Ave to Romford Rd is a key section of a proposed North Woolwich to Forest Gate quietway cycle route providing an essential north south route for cycling linking numerous schools and Newham Hospital. This section of road also complements Woodgrange Rd, north of the Romford Rd where improvements are contemplated using Crossrail money.
This context requires that genuine priority should be given to pedestrians and cyclists.
This can be achieved by:
• The creation of segregated cycle lanes and safe junctions, providing proper “Space for Cycling”. The traffic flow along Upton Lane justifies this. Alternatively;
• The creation of genuine “shared space” route where a completely decluttered space gives pedestrians and cyclists as much priority as motor vehicles, following the principles put into effect, most notably, in Exhibition Rd.
This scheme is misconceived because it does neither; the result is expenditure of public money which will be wasted in gestures to cyclists and pedestrians, but which will not achieve the proper objective of making the Upton Lane along the Upton Corridor a living street which pedestrians and cyclist will consider themselves safe and will actually want to use the space – as opposed to a space where the needs of cyclists and pedestrians remain so obviously secondary to those of motor vehicles. A particularly egregious example of gesture expenditure are the cycling “patches” when the scheme as it stands is unlikely to bring about any significant increase in cycling as it does not properly address the safety of cyclists and certainly will not increase the perception of safety for cyclists. Therefore this scheme does not assist in bringing the level of exercise in the Borough up from its present shameful place of the worst in the country.
No serious thinking appears to have been given to cycling. In particular there does not appear to have been a Cycle Level of Service (CLOS) analysis. This should be done.
In the light of the above, Newham Cyclists advocate the scrapping of these plans and replacing them with something giving genuine priority to cyclists and pedestrians following one of the models outlined above.
Should the Council nevertheless persist in this “gesture scheme” Newham Cyclists object to the following features:
• It is vital that this whole section of Upton Lane be limited to 20mph, given the context outlined above. Furthermore, (a) a 20 mph limit is a the natural complement to steps taken to prevent fast exit from side roads, to facilitate pedestrians crossing the road, and to improve the general environment; (b) the curving line of the road makes travelling more than 20mph particularly dangerous. In the past Newham Council have objected to requests for 20mph limits on the grounds of objections from the bus companies. But there is no need for buses to travel at more than 20mph along this stretch of road.
• The Upton Cross and Romford Rd junctions should be made safe for cyclists to normal continental standards enabling them to avoid being “left hooked” by motor traffic and giving a safe option for right turns.
• St Georges Rd should have a cycle contraflow (as already contemplated as part of the LIP minor schemes) improvements, and, as a consequence provision for cyclists to turn right into and out of it should be made, as a matter of joined up thinking.
• We support the additional cycle parking but do not consider it sufficient – particularly as Upton Lane includes one of the very few cycle shops in Newham.
• We support removal of guardrails which just encourage motor vehicle to regard the road as a race track, but consider they should all be removed.
• Build out of pavements should be used to benefit pedestrians and cyclists rather than create additional parking space.
We support the removal of the cross hatch dead areas in the middle of the road and central bollards. This is space that could be made available for cycle lanes or tracks.
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Well attended and lively as usual. There is still a lot going on – much is positive.
If you would like further details on any of these items please get in touch through the contact details on this site.
Details of TfL’s proposals for Bow Roundabout have been released:
At last night’s meeting, Olawale took us through the discussions he has had with Tower Hamlets Wheelers, taking into account LCC’s standards for junctions. His draft response and sketch map are attached to this post, as well as an article on Cycle Segregated Junctions from the last issue of London Cyclist.
This is an important issue and although it is only an interim measure, it is important that we push TfL to get it right. We will be submitting a response on behalf of Newham Cyclists, but individual responses are probably more important.
Please make sure you have your say!
Stratford Gyratory is a key cycling node. More than £1m is available for design and consultation of a new junction. Here are the principles we are working on for its improvement from the cycling angle.
This link will open a drawing (which will need rotating clockwise).
This form of design would bring huge public realm gains including the link between the Stratford Centre to Westfield; permit the repositioning of crossings and bus stops to more convenient locations; and reduce conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and motor traffic.
As long ago as 31 July 2103 Councillor Conor Mcauley, then Executive Member for Regeneration, trumpeted in the Newham Recorder “Our vision is for Newham’s streets to be made more accessible for cyclists” and called for more of the Cycle Superhighway type of infrastructure in Newham. He ended “We’ll keep lobbying TfL to do their bit and deliver a cycle hire scheme and a cycling network that will benefit all.” This looked like a change of approach from the Council that had previously blocked Cycle Superhighway 2 through Newham. Completing CS2 to Ilford is one of Newham Cyclists Space for Cycling suggestions to which Councillor Patel of Manor Park signed up. It was included in Newham Council’s mini-Holland bid, but this was unsuccessful. Since then we have seen no sign that Newham Council has pressed for this and it now appears to be dropped from TfL’s Cycle superhighway programme.
This unsurprising outcome is compounded by Newham Council’s approach to the existing CS2. It has secured the removal of a key section providing protection for cyclists from being “left hooked” at the junction of Broadway and Tramway Avenue, leaving the current dogs breakfast, which needs a plethora of signs addressed to both drivers and cyclists to be careful. This change was demanded in the face of a safety audit that confirmed that this change made this junction more dangerous for cyclists. The reason? As the Council eventually admitted, this was to accomodate “driver misbehaviour”.
On 17 September 2014 Councillor Corbett told the Recorder “The Council has made clear to TfL the urgent need to fully address all safety issues at this location and review the design proposals,” he said. “This should be done in conjunction with key stakeholders such as the council, police, emergency services and cycling groups.”
” We will return to install the final, agreed design later this year once the local development works are fully completed, and remain committed to provide safe cycling infrastructure across London.”
There has been no change to this unction, made more dangerous for cyclists by the actions of Newham Council itself.
On 3 December 2014 a spokeswoman for the Council misleadingly told the Recorder that the removal was at the behest of TfL, wrongly said that the Council only closed the risky sliproad (which is still open) and that the changes were done following unspecified “concerns” raised by the police and cyclists. The Council have now admitted that these “concerns” were expressed by three cyclists who happened to randomly stop when Council officials were looking at the junction, but they have still to reveal the nature of these “concerns” despite two freedom of Information requests concerning this junction. There is no indication that these cyclists preferred the current situation to the protection provided by the CS2 with its “wands” i.e. the latest version provided by TfL.
At no time were Newham Cyclists consulted despite the latest in a series of claims that ” We value the views of Newham’s cycling community and are committed to ensuring that there are safe cycling routes in the borough.”
As many of you know, the section of the Greenway at the CS2 end has been closed for a staggering 45 week period, whilst Thames Water carry out essential repair work on the Channelsea Bridge.
The issue is not the closure, but the lack of alternative route, which is a complicated but unacceptable situation. For once, LB Newham are not totally responsible, but they have not helped the situation. Because the Greenway is not a Right of Way, but a Permissive Route, the regulations are different. It seems that there is no actual obligation to provide an alternative route. However the transport team at Newham are well aware that this is not good enough. Part of the problem seems to have been that the closure was only supposed to be for a month. The change to almost a year was very last minute.
The decision not to use Canning Road (which was the route Newham Cyclists requested) as the alternative route seems to be based on 2 main issues.
1. It is a route used by emergency vehicles
2. It is not usually the done thing to put traffic lights at the bottom of a hill (!).
Some of you will have seen the very detailed piece on the route here: https://www.easternism.co.uk/?p=107
The lack of signage and the difficulty of crossing Manor Road is obvious.
This morning Arnold, Bill and I met with Richard Wadey to ride through the route. The signage should have gone up weeks ago and it seems to have fallen through the gaps for it to be checked. Richard is pushing this forward. It may be that some ‘guerilla signage’ is needed in the meantime!
Some of the improvements that have come out of the ‘ward audits’ we have done as a group with Richard, as well as other improvements that have already been agreed would make the route much more cycle friendly and those improvements are being pushed by Richard as well. These include access into Leywick Street. The bus stop opposite has approval to be moved, so that a cycle crossing can be put in – the barriers will obviously be removed. The concrete bollards which are currently in place will be replaced with a single removable bollard. This would mean that as you come down the Greenway ramp and use the pavement to cycle under the bridge and then the already signed shared use section, you would be able to safely cross Manor Road and enter Leywick Street.
Timing on this is unclear, but Richard is hoping to be able to report back to us before Monday’s meeting.
What none of this helps, is the fact that this alternative route is a very long way around. We have asked Richard to further investigate the Canning Road alternative. If anyone knows of any other locations where there are traffic lights at the bottom of a hill, let us know!
On 26 January we held another lively and well attended meeting. Forest Gate Councillor Ellie Robinson attended with two Newham Council Officers.
The main item on the agenda was discussion of how Crossrail money for environmental improvements around Forest Gate and Maryland Stations could be spent. See earlier post for the initial drawings. Plenty of concrete suggestions were made to improve the the initial plans as far as cycling is concerned and these were taken away by the Council officers. We emphasised to Councillor Robinson how important it was to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists, including by imposing a 20mph limit. She took a lively interest and invited further representations from individuals by e-mail to her Council e-mail address.
There was also an outline of our vision for redesigning the Stratford gyratory . TfL and Newham Council will soon be starting serious design work for which £1m in funding is available. Newham cyclists are working up detailed representations which will be fed into this process, including the LCC Infrastructure review group.
There were other short updates on some positive developments: (1) the Aldgate to Hainault Quietway as it goes through north Newham. This is in TfL’s second tranche of quietways and we are ahead of our neighbouring boroughs in planning this; (2) the first fruits of the Ward Audit – with 19 permeability schemes for “urban Newham” already having been approved by the Council and the other 400+ being prioritised for approval; (3) the preliminary results of the initial study for remedial work on Westfield Ave and Montfichet Rd ; (4) news that a further study of how to improve the wider Olympic Park/Westfield area for cyclists in view of the possible adoption of the roads by the Council is going out to tender; and (5) an indication that the Roding Valley cycle and footway study is progressing.
Less promising was the continued dog’s breakfast that is the junction of Tramway Avenue and the Broadway. It is a key demand that this be improved as part of the reworking of Stratford gyratory. This episode acts as a timely reminder that our input is vital to avoid poor designs which ultimately waste public money.
Finally, our draft ride programme for 2015 was circulated. Watch this space.
In relation to item (4), on 30 January a group of Newham Cyclists rode around the Olympic Park area with two Newham Council sustainable transport officers, looking particularly at the periphery of the area and points of access. From this it became clear that a coherent and useful study must cover as wide an area as possible, even if it strayed slightly outside the borough. Some good news is that Temple Mill Lane east is to be permanently bus/cycles only. This is something that we have campaigned for over several years.
We also took the opportunity to discuss ideas for the Canning Town to Excel Centre area.
It has become clear what opportunity there is to link these various improvements, together with the Greenway and the Lea Valley to create a major generator for both leisure and utility cycling in Newham.