Readout from 29 January Meeting

17 of us squeezed in our last minute venue – Forest Gate Arts, with an  agenda that was equally  packed and interesting.

Dockless Bike Hire: Fraser from Ofo bikes spoke to us about the company, their bikes and the dockless system, their plans, and their  discussions with Newham Council with a view to introducing them into the borough.  We were even able to try one out!  

The company is a partner of LCC and ultimately plans 150,000 bikes in London, starting in Islington and Hackney and focusing on surrounding boroughs.  Newham is therefore a natural point of expansion.

Sad news:  The bike shop Pave Velo has closed in the QE Olympic Park.

Ambition, Aspire, Achieve: we plan to go forward with this partnership by providing bike fixing stalls at the children’s cycle club on 17 February, 28 April and 26 May with short Greenway based rides on the weks following – 24 February, 5 May and 2 June. These are all Saturdays between 10am and 1pm.  If you are able to help (and haven’t already volunteered) please let me know.

Forest Gate to Wanstead Link: This is a new subject.  Given how appalling Centre Rd is, it is difficult to cycle directly to Wanstead from Forest Gate.  We decided to do some preliminary investigation, by a ride of the route; and also to see if there is a group in Redbridge who would be interested in pursuing this with us.

Bike from Boleyn:  Next ride is April 14.  Although this is some way off marshals are needed.  So if you can help put this date in your diary and let me know.

Stratford Gyratory:  an audit of the works was undertaken with Newham Council’s project manager, the Met Police Safety Unit and Michael Barratt, TfL’s Development Impact Assessment Lead, who promotes innovative methods to mitigate the impact of major construction projects.  His subsequent report highlights the various “hotspots” and recommends what can be done to mitigate.  The main action point for us is to lobby the constructors who are taking up disproportionate space in Great Eastern Street (which is separate  to Gyratory project).  We agreed to invite Michael to our next meeting. The audit could usefully be repeated in a few months.

Liveable Neighbourhoods: This is the focus of LCC election campaign.  It involves identifying at least one good project for local groups to push for in the next round of applications for TfL funding.  Newham Council has so far not made any applications.  In preliminary discussions  a number of potential schemes were identified which could be part of a future campaign.  This will need to be picked up as it becomes clearer who the local candidates are likely to be.  Olawale is attending a workshop on the broader campaign for Liveable Neighbourhoods.

Ultra-Low Emission Zone:  We agreed to respond to the current TfL consultation, pushing for more stringent measures – quicker.

Annual meeting:  This will take place on 30 April.

Arnold

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Meeting January 2018

Next meeting is at Forest Gate Arts on 29 January  at 7.30 pm
13 Upton Ln, London E7 9PA

 The attached document –Newham-Cyclists-Issues-of-Interest-Jan-2018-without-maps sets out the outcome of a recent meeting with the Sustainable Transport Officer of Newham Council to review current infrastructure developments.

I am hoping to add before the meeting the outcome of the examination of the Stratford Gyratory works with  with Newham Council, TfL and the Metropolitan Police.

Arnold

Ride Report: Greensted Green Church -14 January 2018

 

Our first ride of the new year was blessed with mild weather  and a good turnout. We took the Central Line from Leytonstone to Epping, where the ride began with a nice downhilll run. 

We saw a good number of cyclists around Toot Hill which is popular for its undulating terrain. We arrived at the church a little after 11am but there were no other visitors, despite it being Sunday. This allowed us to take a good look around, we saw the painting of St Edmund, after whom, it is thought, the church was founded. This oldest wooden stave church has a crusaders grave, leper hole and links to the Tollpuddle martyrs. With a history of over 1000 years there are lots of stories about the church and its congregation, some of which may even be true. 

We continued to Ongar and took the old roman road, unfortunately this is rather popular with speeding motorists, so we were pleased to turn into Berwick Lane and wind our way through the empty country lanes back to Toot Hill. We stopped at the Moletrap pub for lunch. It is a lovely, characterful place although it was small and seating was limited.

Refreshed we mounted up and rode the few miles back to Epping Station.

The route map is accessible here:  Greensted ride  

Partnership with Ambition, Aspire, Achieve

in 2017 we piloted partnership work with AAA, a charity based in the Arc in Hermit Road Park, Canning Town – by running a 3 bike fixing stalls at their Saturday morning children’s cycling club and leading a gentle ride along the Greenway.
The club runs from 10.30 am to 2.00pm each Saturday
This was considered sufficient of a success to repeat the activity this year, provided there is sufficient support for it.  Other suggestions for this year are:
  • to run the bike stall a week before a ride in order to do as much bike checking as possible as early as possible;
  • have a ride during the period of initial activity on the Greenway, following its official 24 hour opening on 8 January;
  • to fit as best possible with the Woodgrange stall and rides calendars which will shortly be published.
Three bike fixing sessions and three rides in the first half of 2018 are contemplated, for which 5 pairs of dates look feasible:
10 & 17 Feb; 17 and 24 Feb; 17 & 24 March;28 April & 5 May; 26 May & 2 June.
I have set up two Doodle polls (one for the stalls and one for the rides) and will take the best three sessions.  If you would like to help please sign up.  It is not necessary to be available for both date in a pair.  The only requirement is that there be a sufficient number signed up to run the events – probably 3 for each.
The Doodle poll for the stalls is:
Thanks for your help, if you would like to know more please get in touch with me.
Arnold

November News

Our next meeting will be 29 January, by which time we should have some more news on campaigning issues and our ride season will not only be published but will have started!

Stratford High Street

Major works affecting cycling have started at the Stratford Gyratory, the Strand East site near the Bow flyover, and Letts Road. This has exacerbated the difficulties of the Cycle Superhighway 2 which was already dogged by works. We have been active in seeking measures to lessen the impact (on occasions very severe) on cycling and have brought in the assistance of the LCC, Newham Officers and Councillors and the TfL Development Impact Adviser, who took a ride around with us to see the problems for himself.

Cycling in Newham

We have prepared a paper on cycling in Newham, inspired by (a) work done for us by “20’s Plenty” showing that Newham lags behind other boroughs in road safety and health and (b)TfL analysis the huge potential for cycling in Newham (which includes four of its top 20 London “Potential Cycle Connections” for the whole of London). Our paper reviews the approach to cycling in the borough, analyses why the cycling deficit has arisen, and calls for an effective and coherent cycle strategy. The full paper has been distributed to those councillors who have expressed an interest in cycling and is on our website.

Consultations

In the meantime Olawale, our Infrastructure Rep has taken the lead on a number of responses to consultations. Our general approach is aimed at pedestrian and cycling safety: by promoting segregated tracks and cycle lanes of sufficient width where traffic flow demands; safe junctions; 20 mph on residential roads: creating areas without through traffic; “Copenhagen” style pavements giving pedestrians priority over side roads; and opposition to parking on pavements.

The Autumn Ride Season

A crowded, enjoyable and varied series of rides took place through the autumn. This included another East London Brewery Ride, and a new ride out to Much Hadham (taking in a visit to the Henry Moore Foundation). The first Bike from Boleyn Ride of the football season attracted lots of publicity and a variety of cycles. The next will be in April. Our usual October Rainham ride was blessed with traditional fine weather and attracted a record participation. We were able to take in benefited an open day at Rainham Hall. Another first was a ride for the children of the “Ambition Aspire Achieve” Saturday Cycle Club along the Greenway. A late addition to the programme was a Newham Heritage Ride, as a contribution to Newham Heritage Week, using part of our familiar Newham Ride route with the addition of some historical sound clips provided by Eastside Community Heritage.

Fix My Ride Sessions

Undertaken at Woodgrange Market in September and October and at Ambition Aspire Achieve in Canning Town in November. And after all that… We are now planning our activities for 2018, and running a fully subscribed women’s bike maintenance class over winter.

Arnold

Your can find here our  November news .

Readout from October 2017 Meeting

We tried a new venue, the Atherton Leisure Centre.  Once the disappointment of coffee not being available from the cafe was overcome it was deemed a success by our turnout of 11.

  • The main concern was the poor to outright dangerous temporary provisions for cyclists on CS2  at the Stratford Gyratory,  Letts Rd, and Strand East works.

We decided to invite TfL, local Councillors and Newham officials on a ride to experience the difficulties for themselves.

  • We will respond to consultations concerning planned works at Dames Rd, Tollgate Rd and Pier Rd.  All illustrate the lack of a coherent approach to cycling in the borough; and the TfL plans for Pier Rd are simply poor quality, with token and ineffectual cycle provision.
  • We had a preliminary discussion on LCC proposed campaign around the local elections on living streets and areas without through traffic.  Both are significant issues in Newham.
  • We discussed and progressed our ride programme for 2018.
  • We welcomed two cycle workshops in and around the borough, at Leytonstone Road and in the Community Garden at the eastern corner of Honor Lea Avenue.
  • The bike maintenance training for women is fully subscribed and will go ahead this autumn.
  • Our next meeting will be primarily social.  watch this space for details

Newham Heritage Ride 23 October

A band of 12 defied  a horrid weather forecast to set off from the View Tube in their search of knowledge of some, at least of Newham’s rich heritage.

We were aided by some interesting sound clips provided by Eastside Community Heritage, some Wikipedia and other material (see earlier post), and – best of all the knowledge found within the group itself – historical, architectural, football etc.

8 stops over 11 miles of relaxed off road riding included Three Mills …

the Gas Works  Memorial Garden …

Cody Dock (where we were given an update of future developments by Simon – not the cat) …

the Royal Docks …

and Abbey Mills Pumping Station.

Miraculously neither the umbrella, nor the rescue float, nor even the repair kit was called upon.

Thanks as usual to Robin our photographer whose full album of the ride can be found at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm7Bau54

with some bonus material from the interior of the “Temple of Sewage” (opened for guided visits the previous weekend) at:  https://flic.kr/s/aHskqdw8F9

Arnold

Newham Heritage Ride 23 October

This is a leisurely ride with stops.  It is part of  is part of Newham Heritage Week and is taking place with the assistance of Eastside Community Heritage, which has provided material, including sound clips relevant to the history of the area.

Those coming on the ride are encouraged to bring a phone or tablet to give access to this document, Newham Heritage Ride Oct 2017,which provides more detail on the sights  to be visited.

Arnold

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