Readout from January Meeting

Another healthily attended and lively meeting at Coffee E7:

  • Following the meeting with Councillors Gray and Paul before Christmas concerning the various issues surrounding Stratford High Street and gyratory we submitted a briefing note on which we are waiting a response.
  • There was a very open catch up meeting meeting with the Newham Council Sustainable Transport officer.  Headlines are:

    Designs have been submitted to TfL for the junctions of the northern Quietway.  Our view was that these were disappointing , and we indicated that we could not support a Quietway which had substandard junctions.  Better progress on upgrading the Greenway.  A small pilot lighting project will shortly be put in place.  Limited improvements are in prospect around Westfield (Stratford Place) as changes are made for taxis and coaches.  There are good designs on the shelf for the wider area waiting for the opportunity to be implemented.

    An cycle assessment of the main roads (but not junctions) has been undertaken which will form part of a proposed cycle strategy from the Borough along with an audit of cycle parking.

    There are further delays in establishing the Leaway between Cody Dock and Canning town.

    All current issues have been recorded for monitoring and it was decided to publish this on this website (to follow).  By way of  general follow up we have been told that Newham’s cycling mode share has increased again,according to the London Travel Demand Survey (Travel in London report 8), up from approx. 1.3% to 2.3% in 2012/13-2014/15.

  • A Greenway  users group is planned.
  • We noted that the work undertaken so far on the northern Quietway was heavily engineered and that there was still an issue of parking in Cemetery Rd.
  • We will be actively participating in stakeholder consultation on the plans for Stratford gyratory, a meeting taking place on 8 March.
  • We discussed our ride programme and in particular the forthcoming, and much anticipated, Hoo Ride on 14 February.  To ensure smooth practical arrangements (not least securing the cheapest train ticket to Gravesend), it would be helpful if anyone intending to come on this ride gave advanced notice (newham@lcc.org)

    We will be coordinating rides with a new Community group in Stratford City and we may also be joining in with a CTC ride around Witham in April.

  • We agreed to buy a further banner , some equipment for rides (tools/first aid) and some T shirts for ride leaders.
  • The current exhibition at the Design Museum was warmly recommended and there are still tickets for the talk by Emily Chappel at the Wanstead Tap on 15 February.
  • Richard Wadey will be talking at our next meeting on 29 February and then our AGM will be 11 April.
  • Funds are available from the Council for high quality on street parking bays.  Please let us know of good sites.
  • We decided to support, with a stall, an indoor car boot sale  on 20 February at the Field Community Centre, Station Rd.  If you are able to provide some time to man the store please let us know and we will be putting together a rota.

    Arnold

Ride Report – Greensted Church

By Steve Smith

Forest Gate to Greensted Church      10th January 2016

We were 13 at Coffee7 at 9am on Sunday morning which was an excellent turnout for the first ride of the year.   Perhaps the New year resolutions were applying some leverage. The weather was sunny and dry but after so much rain had fallen over the previous days the roads were still wet. The route followed suburban roads through Woodford, along the Roding Valley to Loughton and then out to Theydon Bois. We then found a few undulating and invigorating hills as we followed country lanes through Toot Hill to Greensted in the bright winter sunshine.

The church, claimed as the oldest wooden church in the world is charming, and includes the grave of a crusader and a lepers view hole. All these elements give the church a fantastic opportunity for imaginative stories about their origins and those visitors who were here long before us.

After restarting the ride we followed small lanes toward Navestock and Stapleford Abbots.   The lunch stop was at the two Brewers Chigwell Row was a busy pub/restaurant, this meant lunch consisted more of a refreshment stop with a drink and a few crisps and nuts for most. It may be a good idea to let the lunch venue know of our arrival on future rides, if we can estimate the number of riders

On the way back we followed the newly emerging quiet way from Fairlop to Wanstead and finished the ride where we started, outside a coffee7 under a darkening sky.

We had a few punctures which slowed our pace, however the group was well equipped and we were easily able to fix them.

More photos (taken by Robin Stephenson) can be found on Flickr

Greensted1

Christmas Lights Ride report (by Steve)

On the evening of Monday 7th December, Newham Cyclists toured the extravagant lighting displays of London’s West End. We met by the steps at St Pauls Cathedral before following a route that took in all the major shopping streets and some iconic London venues such as Trafalgar Square and Somerset House.

Nigel & Lisa coffee7Christmas lights route

Bill joined us on Bond Street outside Burberry’s, had he been Christmas shopping? It was not clear, as he wasn’t saying. The route deviated from the plan and we took Regent Street instead of Piccadilly down to Piccadilly Circus. A minor route planning mistake by the ride leader caused a little confusion, but once regrouped we headed for the bright lights of Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square

St Pauls groupTrafalgar

The famous Norwegian Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square looked as if it had been exposed to strong winds as it seemed to have a natural tilt, and the horse skeleton with the stock market data stream on the fourth plinth required some interpretation. Carnaby Street lights were impressively gaudy and Covent Garden had an excellent tree, as did Somerset House.

CarnabyC Garden group

There were some challenges as the roads were busy and there were lots of pedestrians, however the evening temperature was mild and and dry and there was no wind. We returned via Winterville in Victoria Park, but the bike parking was woefully inadequate so we did not go in and diverted to the People’s Pub on Victoria Park Road for deserved and festive refreshment.

More pictures, courtesy of Robin here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rsstephenson/albums/72157662020002231

Readout from November Meeting

Again a well attended meeting with a full an interesting agenda.  Our first meting at the Black Lion in Plaistow:

  • Following up last month’s meeting with Living Streets we heard that Living Streets were progressing setting up a Newham branch which some Newham Cyclists were likely to join.  This would maintain co-ordination.
  • Following last month’s meeting on Forest Gate Crossrail related improvemetns, a collective Newham Cyclist response has been given to this consultation as well as well as other consultations  on Manor Park and the Silvertown Tunnel.  These to reinforce the individual responses.
  • There was a very positive meeting with Councillors Terry Paul and John Gray over the Greenway closure.  Interestingly,The day before this meeting the signage had been improved by Thames Water.  Notable also was the number of people cycling in the area and the number that stopped to voice their opinions.

    P1040940

    There is hope for the end to the closure from West Ham station to Stratford by April next year, with some limited provisional access before then  The reopening  paves the way for the planned improvements for the Greenway as part of  TfL  second round of quietways – in this case 24hr opening and lighting, and  4 additional ramps for access.  The closure on the northern side is more uncertain despite the overrunning Crossrail related works coming to end.

  • We are seeking a similar engagement with these two local Councillors to look at the multiple issues surrounding Stratford High Street and the Stratford Gyratory.  To the obvious ones can be added the frequent parking of construction traffic  blocking the shared use pavement.
  • Some more works on the Victoria Park to Hainault Quietway have started in Forest Gate.  We noted that the introduction of a CPZ had led to more parking in Cemetery Rd to the detriment of the route as a Quietway.  We agreed that we could not endorse this Quietway unless the crucial junctions were suitably addressed.
  • We decided to go ahead with some traffic counting pilots.
  • We noted the recent poll in the Newham Recorder on cycling issue.  Steve Smith put forward an excellent case for cycling.
  • We decided to seek a catch up meeting with Newham’s Sustainable Transport Officer in the New Year.
  • We noted that further cycle parking has been casually removed without replacement by Newham Council – this time outside Wilkinson’s in Stratford.
  • The Christmas lights ride on 7 December was discussed and the 2016 Ride Programme was launched.  (Details elsewhere)
  • On street secure parking has been installed by Newham Council in various locations.  A welcome development.  All were urged to identify further suitable sites.

Upcoming meetings

A reminder that two important and interesting meetings coming up:
26 October at 7.00pm at Coffee E7.  Meeting with Murray Woodburn of Newham Council and possibly other Council officers to discuss the Forest Gate Crossrail improvement plans.
2 November at 7.30 at the Wanstead Tap.Open meeting with Living Streets.  Jack Skillen, the London Director will be talking about the benefits of creating a walking nation.  This meeting takes forward our wish to liaise more with other similarly minded groups.
Arnold

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 http://www.learningrevolutiontrust.org.uk/  We all wish him well on this -you can sponsor him on: https://www.justgiving.com/Stephen-Smith61

steve

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:
    http://www.newham.gov.uk/Documents/Transport%20and%20streets/CrossrailManorParkQuestionnaire.pdf
    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.

Arnold