Cycling in Newham

We have prepared a paper on Cycling in Newham.  It starts with evidence to show that Newham lags behind other boroughs in reducing traffic accidents and public health; and its long  recognised high potential for cycling has not been realised.

It seeks the adoption of an effective cycle strategy to underpin a coherent approach – giving priority to walking and cycling over motor traffic.

The paper  provides examples where past and current deficiencies in this regard have exacerbated our road safety and health problems.

Arnold

Rainham Ride 8 October 2017

Traditionally our October ride to Rainham RSPB is blessed with fine weather and this  year was no exception.  A record turn out of 16 gathered at the Greenway Common Cafe

and we picked up 3 more as we started along the Greenway.  Fortunately we had two of the group’s ace photographers (Robin and Steve) to capture it the day.

Braving the A13…

brought the reward of an open day at the national Trusts’ lovely Rainham Hall and a quick stop to inspect the beautiful gardens.

The Thames was as atmospheric as ever.  

A coffee stop at the RSPB centre (which now has bike hire and other outdoor activities) and a visit to the site of a house stayed in by Dracula led us to the Ingrebourne Valley and the train back from Upminister.

On my calculation 25 miles, almost all off road.

Arnold

Our Ride Season Continues

On 30 September Newham Cyclists  had a crack team of marshals on duty to lead the latest in the regular Bike from Boleyn rides, from the statue at Green Street to the London stadium, along the Greenway. This is a partnership with “Bike from Boleyn”


A joyous occasion, which started in glorious weather and was blessed, this time, with a win by West Ham – much appreciated by those who obtained tickets in the draw or for marshalling.

A range of bikes took advantage of the refreshed Greenway, including unicycles….

and a cargo bike.  Here we are at our destination:

On Sunday 1 October three of us braved an adverse (but mistaken) weather forecast and were rewarded with a beautiful 40 mile ride from Epping, through the countryside of the Hertfordshire/Essex border around Harlow and back to Epping.  this was new to our calendar and Steve is to be congratulated for putting it together.  A particular highlight was the newly opened Henry More Foundation.

Fortunately we had enough money that none of us had to resort to the free lunch in the Fox.

The next ride is Sunday 8 October to Rainham and Upminister.

Arnold

Readout from September Meeting

A well attended and lively meeting on 25 September.

We discussed:

  • A Greenway Activity Plan proposed by Newham Council to encourage use of the Greenway.  A number of us were happy to volunteer to ride the Greenway at different times to encourage use of the Greenway and keep our eye out for maintenance issues.  Also we might bring “Fix Your Ride” there on suitable and pre-publicised occasions. If you are interested in participating in either of these activities let me know.
  • We will continue participation, as far as we can,  in Community Roadwatch, which undertakes speed checks with the police  which can result in reminder letters to speeding drivers.  This with a view to being able to suggest a wider variety of roads for this exercise in future.
  • We discussed a general paper on Cycling in Newham  aimed at Councillors.  This will be finalised.
  • We agreed to continue our partnership with AAA cycle club for children at Canning Town.  There will be a final “Fix Your Ride” session at the Arc on 11 November and we will factor in participation in our planning for next year.
  • There was general approval for our future meetings to be held in different parts of the borough.
  • Steve, the Ride Coordinator, will start planning our ride calendar for 2018 and welcomes ideas for rides and volunteers for leading them.

Arnold

Some Infrastructure News

We held a general catch up meeting with Richard Wadey, the Sustainable Transport Officer of Newham Council on 8 September.  The summary  outcome is available by clicking on this link:

Newham Cyclists Issues of Interest Aug 2017.

The headlines are:

  • The long awaited Cycle Strategy is being updated in the light of TfL’s recent analyses of strategic cycling routes which include a number going through Newham.  It will start to go through the process for formal approval.
  • There was unlikely to be a large bid for Liveable Neighbourhood funding  as the assessment is that TfL will consider that Newham has already had a large slice of the cake.

As for Stratford Gyratory the responses to the Freedom of Information Act requests concerning the dropping of proposal for 20 mph are below. 20 mph was identified in the consultation by the Council as a “key improvement”, supported by 92% of respondents to that consultation; but mysteriously disappearing without a trace in the scheme as approved by the Cabinet in May.  The Council now claim that there was “no decision” to drop this aspect of the proposal.

FOI RESPONSE E29406

FOI RESPONSE E29407

Arnold

Women Who Ride

Following on from our borough insert feature, Anita tells us what cycling means to her.

I have been cycling since I was seven, using my bike to get to school both at primary and secondary.  I have been a London cyclist off and on for the last 25 years.  When my son Merlin was born I was keen to be able to cycle with him as soon as possible.  He was on the back of the bike in a child seat as a baby and used to love the cycle rides for sleeping.  He started with a balance bike and has been on his own bike since he was 4, sometimes with a tow bar in the early days and now cycles to secondary school as well as weekend and evening rides with me.  It is important to me that he is a confident cyclist and feels safe as well as being active and in the outdoors.  We have been on cycling expeditions up the Lee Valley and to Debden House for camping on our own and with Newham Woodcraft Folk.

When I took on my current job it involved a lot of changes and one of those was committing to becoming a daily cyclist as it was the only way I could fit everything in with both work and childcare and also saved me the cost of the annual travel card I used to need before.  I work as a Baby Feeding Specialist for Barts Health in Tower Hamlets, cycling for work involves more than just commuting as I am not only cycling to work but around during the day to visit clients, move between work places, attend meetings and trainings.  Cycling is the most efficient way to get around, when I work with students who are not cyclists I usually give them a 15 minute head start on public transport and usually still arrive ahead of them.  I use the Cycle Super Highways but also the canal and riverside paths.

I cycle in all weathers.  Wearing specialist cycling clothing and shoes isn’t really an option as I can’t change easily every time I visit clients in their own homes so I have had to come up with a work wardrobe for cycling which can take me from my bike to a hospital ward, meeting or client’s home.  I’m not cycling fast aiming to get a best time on the commute but aiming to arrive in good time without breaking out in a sweat!  Knee length skirts and dresses that are not too wide nor too narrow are great as they keep clear of the chain and wheels and dry quickly if caught in the rain!  Long leather boots are good in winter and can be wiped down after a muddy cycle along Limehouse Cut!

I am a keen Geocacher (www.geocaching.com) and go out on cycle rides after work seeking out hidden containers around London or attending events.  This has taken me further afield by bike than ever before and using google maps to find cycling routes to geocaches has expanded my cycling knowledge, fitness and confidence in London taking me on routes I never knew about.  I also combine train and bike for longer journeys.

I am now trained as a Ride Marshal and Ride Leader with London Cycling Campaign and hope to be able to encourage more women to gain confidence in cycling.

Brewery Ride

We had asked riders to book into this ride as it has been very popular in the past. However, several booking were either cancelled or were simply ‘no shows and we numbered just 9 riders, including two who had not booked. This was however a good number for the ride as we had two marshals, Ken and Robin, and were able maintain a tight group for the ride.

The weather was cool by dry and despite some traffic around Blackhorse Road and Hackney Central we were able to make good use of the Waltham Forest cycling infrastructure, the river Lea towpath and the Hackney Parks.

We managed three stops, namely, Wild Card, People’s tavern (Laines) and Truman’s, taking the traditional route in reverse. We had planned to stop at Redchurch, but the shutters were down and there was no sign of life. Other notable changes, Pressure Drop are moving from their current location in Hackney Central, to the same industrial estate as Beavertown currently occupies. Forest Road had a lively taproom, worth a stop on a future ride. Three Sods and the Bethnal Green Working Man’s Club were also not open.

The ride continues to evolve and there are still more brewery’s to visit than we have time available on an afternoon ride, but it is fun to try, and also to experiment with different stops

Click on the photo below to be taken to Robin’s pictures of the day – & the link to see the ‘live’ route.  Thank you Robin!

https://www.relive.cc/view/1186780708

Readout from 31 July Meeting

Our July meeting started with an well attended ride from Forest Gate around the Olympic Park.  We were please to welcome Fran from LCC. More joined us for the business end, which took place at The Neighbourhood in Stratford Village.

  • We elected Olawale as our Infrastructure Rep. This is effectively a change in name (from Local Scheme Lead) to fall in line with the LCC organisation of its Infrastructure Review Group.  It was noted how active we had been in responding to consultation and how thorough the responses, prepared by Olawale, were.
  • We discussed the Stratford Gyratory proposals where Newham Council, contrary to their consultation and the overwhelming response to it, were dropping the proposal for 20mph limit.  We have been liaising with “20’s Plenty” and considered further how we could campaign for the restoration of a 20 mph limit.
  • The lack of coherence of the Council’s approach was only reinforced by its recent Traffic Order for a 20 mph limit at neighbouring Maryland (but not Windmill Lane -the cycle route connecting to Westfield and roads to Stratford and Leyton) nor Forest Lane, a rat run which already has speed cushions.
  • Forthcoming consultation responses were in preparation for Gallions Roundabout and High St North.
  • Bill, who sent his apologies, reported (vicariously) that we had received our portion of membership fees from LCC and our grant from Newham Council for “Fix My Ride”.
  • Our feeder ride 9 July successfully brought over 50 riders to the Freecycle event, and about 30 returned with us.  We decided to hold a debriefing session.
  • Fix Your Ride will next appear at Forest Gate Market on 12 August and the following week at the Arc Saturday Cycle Club  in Canning Town (run by the charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve).  Upcoming rides are a family ride with AAA on 2 September, a brewery ride on 16 September and a Bike from Boleyn ride on 30 September.
  • We had a first discussion on the Mayor of London’s draft Transport Strategy, and recent TfL transport analyses.  LCC are preparing a central response- for which we emphasized the need for hard targets with strong interim targets, consequences for not meeting them, and proper TfL control over how their money was spent by local councils.  A zero accident target for 2041 may already be changing the approach to the quality of cycle projects (which can be very poor, as TfL’s for Nine Elms demonstrates).
  • We considered the practicality of applying for a London Cycle Grant, for which applications are open to 18 September.  We recognised the practical difficulties and the size of the commitment and did not want to make up a project simply to get the grant.   However Bike from Boleyn was interested in a partnership with us and it was worth considering a scheme for taking elderly people out cycling or in a rickshaw.
  • The LCC will be running a feature of women and cycling and Kerena provided  an update on our activity – promoting women’s rides and encouraging cycle leader training.

Arnold

 

Steve riding RideLondon 100

As some of you know, our ride leader Steve is riding the RideLondon 100 this year for AAA.  Please sponsor him if you can.  We are building a relationship with AAA, supporting their weekend cycle club, so this is a cause that we are very happy to promote!

From Steve:

I’m am riding 100 miles for a very worthy local cause; to help young people in need and promote cycling.
Can you help us raise money for the Ambition, Aspire, Achieve Cycling Hub for disadvantaged and disabled children and young people?
Please donate to their JustGiving Crowdfunding Page:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/AAALondon100?utm_id=1&utm_term=AKXN9byDN

Thanks for your support