Readout from Monthly Meeting 28 September 2015

We benefited from Rosalind Readhead providing a talk and stimulating lively and interesting discussion.  Rosalind is an independent mayoral candidate promoting a policy of car free days and active travel, particularly in central London.

She cited a recent study on the health effects of private motor vehicles in London.  some of the figures were very telling. This is a selection:

  •  67% of all car journeys could be completed by bicycle in 20 minutes.
  • 75 sq kms of London is devoted to car parking.
  • 9,500 deaths in London each year can be associated with air pollution.
  • Road closures can cause 75% of traffic to “evaporate”.

Her message was that, at the global level,  climate change demanded action; whilst at the local level the adverse health effects of private motor vehicles threatened the existence of the NHS as a service provided free at the point of delivery.

Drawing on the example of Seville she advocated that local areas should be prepared with a detailed plan to promote cycling and other forms of active travel  which will be available when when the political opportunity arises.  This should include a proper cycling network, as opposed to the current “labyrinth” that is the central London grid.

On the business side (a) we discussed the approach to the forthcoming initial planning meeting on the Stratford gyratory,  (b) decided to take up an offer from Murray Woodburn from Newham Council to discuss in detail the cycling aspects of the Forest Gate Crossrail improvements, (c) decided to seek details of the junction planned at  Stratford High St/Sugarhouse Lane and (d) progressed our arrangements for a forthcoming open meeting with Living Streets – now 2 November at 7.30pm, venue to be confirmed.

What did you do this summer?

Steve Smith, our rides coordinator, finished an epic 1000 mile ride across France in July. Read an account of this trip here:  St Malo to Nice -steve 3

His next little trip is the end to end (Lands End to John o’groats) in September! He is cycling in aid of  The Learning Revolution Trust  We all wish him well on this -you can sponsor him on:


July (and a bit beyond) News

As usual a lot happening.

12 July saw our last scheduled Newham Ride which again took in a foray south of the river to enable us to enjoy almost all the pieces on the Sculpture Line and a trip on the Cable car.  It was thoroughly enjoyed by the dozen or so participants.  Thanks to Steve for the photos.


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On 13 July we attended an initial stakeholder presentation for the remodelling of the Stratford Gyratory.

On the 16 July we were represented at the LCC Local Groups meeting  which was concerned with the updating of its governance arrangements.  There will likely be be a small knock  on effect requiring some tinkering with our (by now venerably ancient) local constitution.

At the same time a Crossrail stakeholders consultation meeting was held by Newham Council.  The point was made that at Manor Park and Maryland there was room for cycle lanes that could be continuous with the other proposed schemes for Stratford Gyrator y and the Quietway.

On 1 august we led our most successful yet feeder ride from Stratford to the central Lhondon Freeride.  Over 90 cyclists were delivered safe and dry to Fenchurch St, by a large team of Newham Cyclists.

Our July monthly meeting took place on 3 August.   We were pleased to have the opportunity to cycle the proposed Newham section of the Victoria Park to Hainault Quietway with  Forest Gate North Councillor  Seyi Akiwowo.  We showed her our proposed more direct alignment (avoiding a potential conflict with a popular playground)  and demonstrate how crucial it is to get high quality crossings of the main roads.

Newham Cyclists and a number of us as individuals have already put in  responses to the Council’s consultation on this Quietway, but the details of the route are still very much open following a stormy meeting the Council held with the residents of Capel Rd and its immediate neighbourhood.  Interestingly the traffic count for Capel Rd came out lower than expected.

Over refreshment the monthly meeting further discussed the Quietway, plus the following matters:

  • Stratford High St:  The Greenway closures either side are set to continue for some time.  The additional closure caused by building work has been ameliorated by allowing shared use of a widened section of pavement – possible in reaction to a formal Freedom of Information Request that was made to TFL by us.  The response to that request also shows that the Warton Rd junction of CS2 was assessed to be dangerous.  TfL now have a long term plan to have a hold left scheme as we originally asked for.  But in the meantime there is danger of short term expedients  which will disadvantage cyclists.  Full details are available from Arnold.
  • The Olympic Park and Westfield:  London Assembly Member Darren Johnson pressed Mayor Boris Johnson about  recent studies of the sub-standard cycle provision.   LCC are still in discussions with the LLDC about the siting of hire cycle stands especially near the Timber Lodge where conflicts are likely to arise.
  • We decided to ask for a catch up meeting with Newham Council’s Sustainable Transport Officer.
  • TfL’s response to consultation on the latest tinkering with the Bow Flyover (designed mostly to assist pedestrians) is disappointing.  In particular it will do nothing to improve cyclists access to the southern section of the Lea towpath.
  • We decided to invite Living Streets to our 26 October meeting and invite Councillors and other community groups such as school governors, youth groups, the WI.  Put this in your diary and watch this space for further details of venue etc.
  • The Crossrail public realm improvements at Manor Park are out for consultation which closes on 4 September.  The link is here:
    Newham Cyclists will be putting in a response, but individuals are encouraged to as well – in particular to press for cycle lanes.  Forest Gate is expected to follow in the autumn and Maryland in the new year.


Crossrail – Manor Park consultation

The attached have been received by Manor Park residents.

Despite discussions, there is no provision for cycling at all (with the exception of a few racks round the corner).  The leaflet states that this is NOT the final agreed scheme, so we need to get as many responses as possible demanding cycle provision.

The email address for responses is:

Crossrail Manor Park

Crossrail Manor Park 2

Newham+ Ride 14 June

13 of us gathered at the View Tube in the Sunday morning gloom, with 12.5 bikes.  With a spirit of undaunted adventure we nevertheless headed for south of the river, but not before seeing the new developments at Cody Dock (now open weekends), including the innovative design for the new bridge.  We continued this year’s theme of sculpture by taking in 6 of the 10 sculptures on the Sculpture Line started our inspection of the Sculpture Line, including works by Damien Hirst and Anthony Gormley.  This was topped off by a short cruise on the Woolwich Ferry and a return along the Greenway.  In the process we discovered that the Greenway diversion has now been signed and various minor improvements completed.

A record 8 of us made it back to the View Tube – a thoroughly enjoyable 21 miles. by which time the sun had come out.

Our next Newham ride is 11 July

Newham Ride 2 May 2015

A combined team from Newham Cyclists men’s elite and vintage squads, eight in all, set out at 10.15 am  from the View Tube in cool but dry conditions to complete the only etape of the 21 mile Tour of Newham.




Some tricky windy conditions were overcome on the new trial stretches around North Woolwich and up the Roding Valley.  A high rate of attrition meant that only 2 riders (one each from the vintage and elite categories) made it, at 2.00pm. from the foothills of the Lea Towpath up the final col de Greenway to the View Tube and a pot of Earl Grey.


Our next Newham ride is on Sunday 14 June.

Thanks to Steve for these photos.