Meetings with Councillor Christie and Newham Council Officers – 9 & 10 October

Meeting with Councillor Christie 9/10/14

Bill, Kerena, Arnold from Newham Cyclists (NC)

Handling cycle issues

• Councillor Christie indicated that his role as Mayor’s Cycling Office had always been informal. Whilst he now had another formal executive post, he did still take an active interest in cycling issues. The removal of cycle parking and other infelicities happened by oversight rather than deliberate policy. NC made the point that consultation was not full. Given the possibility of oversight, this was important. DC agreed to look into more effective consultation. NC to follow up disappearing cycle parking in Leytonstone Rd and Romford Rd. [10 October Richard Wadey (RW) informed us that he was populating a database of "assets" such as cycle parking, cycle lanes and this should pick up for reference to him, all instances where projects impacted on cycle assets.]

• The Council were preparing new design standards (complementing the new LCDS) that would help avoid cycling issues falling through the cracks.

• Some discussion on the removal of CS2 at Tramway Ave. Counciloor Christie distinguished this junction from others as (a) not signalised and (b) a sliproad rather than a junction. He indicated that there had been numerous near misses and that it was a question of balancing out providing incomplete protection for cyclists (as complete protection was not practicable) against giving cyclists a false sense of security. Newham Council had responded to the CS2 consultation by asking for CS2 extension to be brought up to the same standards i.e. “hold left turns”. He invited suggestions for improvements.

Olympic Park/Westfield

Councillor Christie had no progress to report re Westfield s, but offered to ask the Mayor to write to Andrew Gillighan re need for LLDC to up their game. NC asked that Newham Council engage in favour of improving the cycle facilities in the LLDC planning process.

Cycle Strategy

• Councillor Christie stressed that funding was tight and that highway money would be priorities on surfacing and pavement improvements which were getting particularly poor. NC stressed that for cyclists junctions were a priority. Financial constraints also bore down on the proposed cycle strategy.

• NC suggested a straightforward strategy built upon (a) a network of quietways (b) infilled with permeability measures in urban Newham and (c) 20 mph and (d) protection for cyclists on the relatively few major corridors (Romford and Barking Rds being LCN+ – albeit substandard). Councillor Christie was sympathetic to 20mph, but explained why politically it needed a robust evidential basis, and may be better approached piecemeal. NC were invited to assist in this. They indicated that immediate enforcement problems should not be a problem and 20mph could take effect over the long term. NC raised specifically 20 mph in Woodgrange Rd , but this was not discussed.

• Councillor Christie set out some current activity, particularly where funding was being sought or had been obtained: CS2; the Quietways programme -building especially on the Greenway, Royal Docks walking and cycling programme; the Roding greenway; and Gallions roundabout.

• Councillor Christie had obtained an update on the LCC ward asks: CTN – Leaway funded and in train; CTS – Silvertown Viaduct being looked at; Custom House – route from Building 1000 to UEL being sought from developers; SNT – Stratford gyratory junction improvement being sought from TfL; LI – Roding greenway study funded. He asked NC to look at their ward asks to ensure they were what we really wanted and gave the example of the Beckton roundabout. Posible future engagement with other Councillors discussed.

Meeting with Richard Wadey (Newham Council) 10/10/14

Bill, Anold and Olawale from Newham Cyclists

Aldgate to Hainault Quietway points:

• NC support an effort to get this going past City of London Cemetery and over a new bridge to Ilford town centre.
• Junctions need particular attention as there is a propensity for refuges which would be better as zebra crossings.
• Choice of route either Henniker Rd or Chobham Ave balanced.
• 20mph on route and on periphery.

Ward audit

RW outlined priorities based on (a) what could be achieved bearing in mind 2014-5 needed spending quickly and DfT rules on transport signing facilitating contraflows changed in March 2015 (c) need to spread the work around wards and (d) links to coherent routes.

NC to seek to obtain the map of the ward audits etc.

Silvertown Viaduct

Wok on this depended on there being funding left over from the priority section from Canning Town to Silvertown Viaduct including Tidal Basin roundabout. A cycle around revealed there was enough space s-e bound for two way track to link with that starting at West Sivertown DLR, and also a cycle facilities n-w bound using dock road and thus avoiding a difficult slip road. This may need to be held due to closure of tunnel under Sivertown Viaduct and pending development money becoming available.

RW asked if NC would be prepared to be trained to help with traffic surveys.

Rainham Ride: Sunday 4 October

In what is turning out to be a Newham Cyclists tradition, the weather was amazingly good. The ride was enjoyable; 25 miles, mostly off road.  Particularly notable was the Thames in the autumn light –  as still as a mill pond.  Below are a couple of phots, taken by Chris.  The first is the group stopping by the river for a photoshoot and the second on the marsh path approaching the RSPB.

IMG_8214 - Copy (2)

 

IMG_8231 - Copy (1)

 

 

 

 

Notes from September Meeting

Monthly Meeting 29.09.14

We welcomed new member Thom Sanders who has recently moved to Newham from Camden.

E-W Superhighway & CS2 Bow-Aldgate upgrade

We briefly discussed the proposals and the plans were circulated. Everyone was asked to at least support the principle of the proposals for the E-W Superhighway even if they didn’t have time to comment on them in detail, due to the rather vocal opposition from some businesses (in particular the Canary Wharf group).

Ken mentioned that he knew one of the people responsible for organising the campaign for the Canary Wharf group and has promised to discuss it with him. Much of the concern from them is in connection with increased travel time for people from Heathrow (this particularly relates to the Embankment section of the route).

Bill suggested that there needed to be a link between CS2 & CS3 this is something that could be commented on in the proposals.

Trustee Elections

We discussed the issue of Tony Martin (right wing activist) standing for election to the Board of Trustees. Ken gave some further information on him as he has come across him in the past.
LCC currently have no ability to prevent him from standing and are passing a Special Resolution at the AGM so that this cannot happen in the future.

Aldgate-Hainault Quietway

We discussed that Richard Wadey had not reported back on this following on from last month’s meeting. Sustrans have asked us to have input on the section of the route that comes through Newham, but we have not yet seen confirmed plans or had the chance to give any feedback.
We need to see details on how the route will be signed, how junctions will be dealt with (in particular Chobham Road/Gurney Road), what kind of speed bumps will be used on Capel Road in place of what is currently there etc etc.

Olawale said that local groups need to be actively campaigning for quietways and need to be prepared for opposition. (We need the full information in order to be able to prepare for this). LCC head office can provide support. We also discussed getting the support from some of the local councillors for the wards that the route passes through. The Quietway will provide a route for less confident and new cyclists, as well as families.

We agreed to be proactive on this item and to push for the info from Sustrans/Tfl.

Campaigner Awards

LCC have been chasing local groups for nominations for the Campaigner Awards at the AGM.
It was agreed that we should put our Tour de France ride forward for the ‘Best Ride’ category.

Newham Recorder

Last week Kerena was contacted by the Newham Recorder to comment on the removal of the section of CS2 on the Stratford Gyratory. This made the front page of the Recorder!
This week they have asked for comments on the proposals to change the Gyratory from a one way system to a 2-way road. We have not yet seen the plans for this (which Richard told us at the last meeting were only just being submitted for funding). A brief comment will be given to the paper stating that we have not seen the plans but are generally supportive as long as the proposals meet appropriate standards.

Communications

There was a question about communication/emails. Arnold & Kerena are attending a tutorial at the LCC office on the 8th October on the ‘Engaging Networks’ tool, which will enable us to tailor emails to different sections of the mailing list.

Thom offered help with website (his background is web development).

Leaway etc

Olawale & Bill had attended a meeting with Richard Wadey and TfL regarding the Leaway route, particularly the difficult sections around Silvertown etc. This is one of the strategic North-South routes through Newham. The budget is small, so some thought needs to be given as to whether it is more important to get the junctions right or improve the actual tracks. The consensus was that it was better to focus on the junctions.
The question was raised about routes for children to ride to school. The New City School route developed by Liz with Richard Wadey was discussed. We have not heard anything about this route recently, but it was agreed that this should be a key route as it takes in a large number of schools. We also came back to the 20mph limit and how this links with safer school routes etc.
There was some general discussion about the ward audits, contraflows on one-way streets etc. Bill suggested that these contraflows naturally create ‘quietways’.

Changes to CS2 at Stratford Broadway

Many of you, like me, will use CS2 on a daily basis to get to work.  Over the past few months, there have been a ridiculous number of changes to the start of CS2 at Stratford Broadway, coming full circle back to exactly where we started.  This just isn’t acceptable.  Not only is it hugely dangerous to keep changing the road layout so that no road user has any idea what they’re doing, but the cost of all these changes must be incredible.

Arnold has already emailed Councillors Crawford & Christie and submitted an FOI, but it maybe that this is something that we really want to push as a group.  Please let us have your thoughts by commenting below.

Here are some photos documenting the changes as well as a short video.

CS2 1 Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 17.15.09 CS2 2 CS2 3

 

East-West & North-South Cycle Superhighways

The consultation for both the East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways are out.  The plans look promising but as always need input from people using the routes.

East-West: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/eastwest

North-South: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/northsouth

Also, Danny at Cyclists in the City has written a good piece on the various consultations and plans going around:

http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/if-you-want-londons-largest-ever.html

There’s also a good article on the Telegraph website:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/road-safety/11072664/Britains-town-centre-roads-need-more-shared-spaces-expert-says.html

 

Readout from meeting of 1 September

A lot to report:

  • We provided our views on Stratford High Street to Atkins.
  • We decided the committee would pursue a meeting with Councillor Christie.
  • We will take up communication training with a view to creating more targeted communications.
  • East London Hubub rides will be circulated on the Yahoo group.
  • Richard provided a general upbeat update on cycling developments. (1) Consultation has opened on the e-w and n-s Superhighways through Central London; (2) Aldgate to Bow CS2 improvements will go out to consultation , but are likely to include proper protection from left hooks and  (over 30%) segregation.  We need to look out a press for left hook protection in Stratford High St. This has opened today – see  https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/eastwest and https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/northsouth (3) This week Newham will be submitting an application for funding to remove the Stratford Gyratory, for which the ground has been prepared. (4) Proposals are moving forward for remedial improvements to Westfield Avenue in the Olympic Park, to be paid for by the developers of the International Quarter (5) Newham have employed a further person to deal with cycle projects. (6)The cycle permeability project is progressing to the mapping stage and will be incorporated into a draft cycle strategy for the borough which is being written at the moment. (7) the Lea Valley route will also link Canning Town to the Excel Centre/Cablecars via Sivlertown Way.  This links to our ward ask for South Canning Town. (8) 200k has been obtained to improve Gallions roundabout. (9) Newham almost doubled its cycle training delivery; it   is sending all its drivers on  serious cycle awareness training; and its engineers are getting LCDS (London Cycle Design standards) training . (9) A cycle parking audit has almost been completed picking up on historic suggestions for cycle parking, and 25K is available to spend on cycle parking and decluttering; 14 stands have recently been installed..
  • Richard exposed the Sustrans proposals for the Aldgate to Hainault quietway route on which immediate comments were offered.  We will carry out a formal consultation exercise separately.
  • We decided to pursue a response to the river crossings consultation:  https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/river-crossings. A ferry at Gallions Reach to Thamemead will reduce traffic on local roads in the south of the borough and create a slight increase on the A406 and a feeder road to it, and bring environmental benefits over upgrading the existing Woolwich Ferry.  My suggestion is to oppose any new  bridges –  which will  bring traffic too much traffic into the borough bearing in mind the prooposed Silvertown tunnel.   The Gallions Reach ferry appears the most beneficial to cyclists followed by the Woolwich ferry.  Comments to me by close 8th September  for drafting the response and submitting it by 12th September.
Not surprisingly after all this there was not time to look at the Space for Cycling follow up which we will do at our next meeting on 29 September.
See separate posting for forthcoming rides.
Arnold

Mundon ride 24 August 2014

The weather respected the tradition of being excellent for our rides.  Nine of us sortied to Chelmsford by train and then followed Sustrans national route 1 from there to Maldon and back, with a diversion to Mundon with its 14th  centruy church and “petrified” oaks.  Very picturesque and extremently pleasant.  Thanks to Chris for leading us.  Mundon Oaks - 24th August 2014 1 (2)

Above: The oaks, but no bikes.

Below:  A high spot en route, this time with bikes.

 

Mundon Oaks Ride - 24th August 2014 2 (1)

Bespoke Cycle Racks for Newham

We have received the email below from Richard Wadey.  Whilst it is not the most important piece of cycling infrastructure Newham needs, it is good for us to be consulted on things like this.  If you have any ideas, please contact Richard on the email address in his note:

Dear Newham Cyclists,

 I hope you are all well.

 I am in touch as Cllr Corbett has agreed for an art-led public space project to proceed that seeks to install bespoke designed cycle racks at locations across the borough.

 The project is being led on by OpenSpace a not-for-profit arts development organisation, please see the brief attached.

 I have had a meeting with OpenSpace with suggestions of the types of locations that could do with new or enhanced cycle parking provision that could contribute to brightening up the public realm in a fun way  (library’s/community facilities/parks/stations/town centres etc) but as early as possible I would like to seek suggestions from Newham Cyclists.

 Any suggestions can be sent to cycle.training@newham.gov.uk.

 Related to this, our new additional cycling officer should be starting in September and we will be conducting a cycle parking audit/needs assessment (in addition to a cycling facilities/signage audit) asap. I plan on attending your next meeting (1st of September, Coffee7?) as I have some positive news/updates regarding Stratford Gyratory/QEOP/Royal Docks/Quietways.

 Thank you for your help,

Kind regards,

Richard

28SPOKES_OS1