Readout from April 2015 meeting and update

Our meeting took place on 27 April at Coffee E7.  As usual lively

Headlines

  • We discussed the wide ranging review meeting which took place with the Newham Council Sustainable Transport Officer on 24 April.  Further details are annexed below.
  • We looked at the slack.com communication platform and decided to trial it for a couple of months with a view to replacing the Yahoo Group (if the trial turns out successful). (if you would like to participate in the trial and did not give your name at the meeting please indicate this via our e-mail address)
  • We discussed future rides and were grateful to Steve for volunteering to be our ride co-ordinator.
  • We decided to take the opportunity of publicising our group at (1) the Newham show, (2) the Forest Gate Festival and (3) the monthly Dr Bike sessions in Stratford.

Upcoming matters

  • The next Newham Ride is 2 May (see calendar).
  • The committee will be meeting Sustrans and the new Newham Council project officer in relation to the Quietways.
  • We will be riding the route of the proposed “A 406 Quietway” with Sustrans and Newham Council.

 

Annex

Issues discussed with Richard Wadey (Newham Council Sustainable Transport Officer) 24 April 2015

  •  LIP projects: most  ward audit schemes slated this year as “early winners”” have been implements or are shortly to be implemented  – mostly around Stratford and associated with the Greenway Diversion. 
  • Next year priorities likely to be contraflows around Stratford/Plaistow N and A 406 route – see below). We drew attention to need for priority to be along proposed quietways i.e. Ismailia Rd FG.
  •  Royal Docks: separately funded and opening up a route north of Albert Rd. We pressed for improvement to crossing of road to London City Airport. 
  • Gallions Roundabout: separately funded. Our priority is widening path to Cyprus and ensuring traffic crossing on all legs. 
  • A 406 QW: Sustrans have done initial scoping and land ownership looks helpful, as key plots owned by LBN, or TFL or (ultimately) AM Trust.  Northern section is most direct if it follows road rather than Little Ilford Park.
  • QEOP: There is a proper plan for Penny Brookes St, Montfichet Rd and Westfield Ave.  These now need funding but this may come from neighbouring developments. 
  • Quietways: Henniker Rd the preferrred route for northern QW.  LBN have appointed a project manager who we are arranging to meet with Sustrans in May.  We agreed with Richard that junctions s are key (Leyton Rd, Leytonstone Rd, Dames Rd, Woodgrange Rd, Forest Drive.) 
  • Leaway: land for route south of Cody Dock likely to become available shortly.  Plans already developed for Canning Town subject to some minor issues. 
  • Stratford Gyratory design sessions to take place this summer.
  • Newham Cycle Strategy should be put in place 2015/6.   We supported the idea of a detailed strategy drawing , for example, on ward audit projects.

Mitcham Road Scheme

Here is Newham Cyclists response to a consultation for a scheme at the  East Ham South end of Lonsdale Ave.  It is progressive in incorporating cycle contraflow but disappointing in not extending 20mph to the roads that count.  If you would like details of the scheme please use the contact address on this website.

Thank you for consulting on this proposed scheme.

Newham Cyclists strongly support the use of cycle contraflows as part of this scheme and throughout “urban Newham” to create cycle permeability which will be an essential element of making cycling a viable and enticing form of transport for both everyday and leisure purposes.  We trust this represents a change in policy following earlier decisions rejecting cycle contraflows in similar situations (e.g. Cramner Rd).
We support 20 mph throughout the borough (except for trunk roads) and therefore oppose this particular scheme as the 20 mph is not extended to Sandford Road, Lonsdale Road and High Street South. The absence of a 20 mph limit is inconsistent with the speed reduction measures in Sandford Rd (humps) and Lonsdale Rd (point restrictions).
If this scheme has not been made the subject of a TfL standard cycle level of service assessment (CLOS) we urge this to be done and for it to be reconsidered if it achieves a score of less than 40.
A copy of this e-mail goes to Councillor Peppiatt, Councillor Masters, Councillor Shah of East Ham South Ward and Councillor Christie”

Readout from Annual Meeting

15 of us gathered at Coffee E7 for the annual meeting , fortified by a buffet.  We benefited from the presence of Richard Wadey -Sustainable Transport  Officer for Newham Council and Councillor David Christie, both of whom have gone out of their way to consult over the previous year.  We are grateful for their support.

On the formal side the annual accounts and report were adopted (see earlier post). Bill’s oral presentation of a budget for next year was similarly approved.

Elected onto the Committee were: Kerena Fussell and Arnold Ridout, as joint Chair; Bill Bremner as Treasurer and Olawale Ajibola as Cycling Schemes Lead.

Richard gave a talk on the application of TfL’s Cycling Levels of Service (CLOS) assessment.  Right click on the link below for a copy of his presentation.

Cycling in Newham – Cycling Levels of Service (CLoS)

It emerged that Newham has a  high level of walking and public transport use, but a relatively low (but significantly increasing) level of cycling.

CLOS is likely to be a useful tool.  It is instructive how low the score was for the proposed Upton Corridor scheme, to which we have lodged formal objections (see earlier post).

This opened up a series of open discussions ranging from the lift failures in the Woolwich Foot Tunnel to our website and communications to our proposed rides for the forthcoming year (the next being a Newham Ride on 4 April).

Some future guidance emerged:

  • The CLOS can  be incorporated into our campaigning.
  • We need to publicise our objections to schemes on our website.
  • We need to contact our local Councillors and respond to consultations as individuals as numbers count.
  • We need to increase our liaison with pedestrian groups.
  • There is a gap in our communications in the absence of a platform for discussion.

 

Our first ride of 2015

With the weather looking dry, breakfast and/or morning coffee having been taken at the view Tube, 20 of us set out for Ware along the Lea Valley.  Our group included guests from Romford, Stockwell and Greenwich._MG_0602

With only minor mishaps (one puncture and one deviation from the route) we managed to reach coffee/lunch at the white Water Centre.

With time getting on we decided that Broxbourne was far enough, so we fixed the second puncture and enjoyed a breeze assisted ride back to the View Tube with occasional glimpses of sunshine.

Thanks to Chris Kendrick for leading us for this enjoyable 40 mile jaunt and to Simon Leicester for the photos.

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The Upton Corridor

(If you would like to see the drawings and notices please contact newham@lcc.org)

Our objections have been lodged in the following terms:

Newham Cyclists object to the plans for the Upton Corridor.

Upton Lane is a combination of residential and shopping with access from it to both parks and schools. Furthermore the section of Upton Lane from St Georges Ave to Romford Rd is a key section of a proposed North Woolwich to Forest Gate quietway cycle route providing an essential north south route for cycling linking numerous schools and Newham Hospital. This section of road also complements Woodgrange Rd, north of the Romford Rd where improvements are contemplated using Crossrail money.

This context requires that genuine priority should be given to pedestrians and cyclists.

This can be achieved by:
• The creation of segregated cycle lanes and safe junctions, providing proper “Space for Cycling”. The traffic flow along Upton Lane justifies this. Alternatively;
• The creation of genuine “shared space” route where a completely decluttered space gives pedestrians and cyclists as much priority as motor vehicles, following the principles put into effect, most notably, in Exhibition Rd.

This scheme is misconceived because it does neither; the result is expenditure of public money which will be wasted in gestures to cyclists and pedestrians, but which will not achieve the proper objective of making the Upton Lane along the Upton Corridor a living street which pedestrians and cyclist will consider themselves safe and will actually want to use the space – as opposed to a space where the needs of cyclists and pedestrians remain so obviously secondary to those of motor vehicles. A particularly egregious example of gesture expenditure are the cycling “patches” when the scheme as it stands is unlikely to bring about any significant increase in cycling as it does not properly address the safety of cyclists and certainly will not increase the perception of safety for cyclists. Therefore this scheme does not assist in bringing the level of exercise in the Borough up from its present shameful place of the worst in the country.
No serious thinking appears to have been given to cycling. In particular there does not appear to have been a Cycle Level of Service (CLOS) analysis. This should be done.

In the light of the above, Newham Cyclists advocate the scrapping of these plans and replacing them with something giving genuine priority to cyclists and pedestrians following one of the models outlined above.
Should the Council nevertheless persist in this “gesture scheme” Newham Cyclists object to the following features:
• It is vital that this whole section of Upton Lane be limited to 20mph, given the context outlined above. Furthermore, (a) a 20 mph limit is a the natural complement to steps taken to prevent fast exit from side roads, to facilitate pedestrians crossing the road, and to improve the general environment; (b) the curving line of the road makes travelling more than 20mph particularly dangerous. In the past Newham Council have objected to requests for 20mph limits on the grounds of objections from the bus companies. But there is no need for buses to travel at more than 20mph along this stretch of road.
• The Upton Cross and Romford Rd junctions should be made safe for cyclists to normal continental standards enabling them to avoid being “left hooked” by motor traffic and giving a safe option for right turns.
• St Georges Rd should have a cycle contraflow (as already contemplated as part of the LIP minor schemes) improvements, and, as a consequence provision for cyclists to turn right into and out of it should be made, as a matter of joined up thinking.
• We support the additional cycle parking but do not consider it sufficient – particularly as Upton Lane includes one of the very few cycle shops in Newham.
• We support removal of guardrails which just encourage motor vehicle to regard the road as a race track, but consider they should all be removed.
• Build out of pavements should be used to benefit pedestrians and cyclists rather than create additional parking space.

We support the removal of the cross hatch dead areas in the middle of the road and central bollards. This is space that could be made available for cycle lanes or tracks.

Readout from February Meeting

Well attended and lively as usual.  There is still a lot going on – much is positive.

  • We discussed the latest TfL consultation on Bow Flyover for pedestrian improvements – see the earlier post.
  • We discussed the recent Greenway diversion.  Whilst it is disappointing that the shorter diversion using Canning Rd was not chosen, there are some improvements to the chosen route planned for the immediate future: signage throughout,  improving the crossing of Manor Rd into  Leywick St and opening up more the pathway near Abbey Rd DLR.  The latter two are in any event  “ward audit” improvements.  It is heartening to see the efforts put into the ward audit bearing fruit.
  • We decided to object to Council plans for the Upton Corridor (i.e. Upton lane between West Ham Park and Romford Rd) on the grounds that the improvements (extra zebra crossings, raised table on side roads, removal of staggered crossings) needed to be accompanied by a 20 mph speed limit.
  • We agreed the general thrust of our vision for Stratford gyratory (see post of 22 February) which when it has received its final tweaking will be distributed to neighbouring boroughs, Councillors and LCC.  TfL are presently indicating a finishing date of 2019 for this project.  We raised the issue of how long the current Windmill Lane diversion was due to last.
  • Quietways news: (1) Newham Council is waiting to hear from TfL which of the planned second tranche of quietways in the borough (the northern quietway was in the first batch); (2) a pilot of delimiting solar lighting is being trialled on the Greenway around Upper St, although the Council’s aspiration is for high quality lighting along its whole length; (3) the Roding Way study is progressing.
  • Olympic Park news:  (1) we are attending, with the LCC campaigns manager,  a meeting on 4 March with LLDC, which has been responsible for the current substandard cycling provision; (2) consultants hired by the Council have already made some cycle friendly recommendations for Westfield Ave/Montfichet Rd.  The study is being extended to a broader area around Westfield where the cycle provision is shameful; (3) Northwall (formerly the Northern Loop Road) is currently redundant and closed but was identified as a potential leisure cycling asset; (4) we are in discussion with Waltham Forest Cyclists concerning improvements to the northern section of Temple Mills Lane to Ruckholt Rd (which is due for improvement under their mini-Holland scheme.  Temple Mills lane east has no been made a permanent bus/cyclist only link but there is room for improvement to remove conflicts with buses.
  • We agreed to have a talk at our next meeting about CLOS (Cycle Level Of Service) – a system for evaluating how cycle friendly a street/area is.  It is now becoming widely used (including by TfL and Newham Council)and is regarded as a good tool by the LCC.  We will have some serious training for those interested in the spring.
  • We agreed to submit observations on the Newham Local Plan and Statement suggesting some further cycle and pedestrian quietways which Newham should as a matter of planning policy protect for future development.
  • We decided to develop this website to have a (moderated) comments facility.
  • Our annual meeting on 30 March 2015 at Coffee E7 at 7.00p will include a light buffet.  If you have any nominations for posts (Co-ordinator, Secretary, Treasurer)  please lodge them via the contact details on this site.
  • Our first two rides for 2015 will be 22 March up the Lea Valley to Ware, and a Newham Ride on 4 April. See the events calendar.  The rest of the programme will now be put on the calendar.
  • The Council have prepared some good plans for the Silvertown Way/Canning Town area.

If you would like further details on any of these items please get in touch through the contact details on this site.

Phew

Stratford Gyratory: Our Vision

Stratford Gyratory is a key cycling node.  More than £1m is available for design and consultation of a new junction.  Here are the principles we are working on for its improvement from the cycling angle.

This link will open a drawing (which will need rotating clockwise).

Stratford Gyratory General Details 

In narrative:

  • The main axis for motorised traffic would be Stratford Broadway through to the Grove i.e. the A11.
  • Stratford Broadway to be bi-directional with segregated cycle lanes forming part of CS2 (on existing westbound carriageway).
  • Tramway Avenue sliproad closed.
  • A subsidiary traffic axis  from Leyton Rd / Angel lane through to Great Eastern Rd (eastern section to the Grove) to be single single bidirectional lanes with  cycle tracks and bus islands.
  • Eastbound, one way bus, taxi, delivery and cycle traffic only on Great Eastern Rd from the “Rhubarb” sculpture to Angel Lane, with cycle contraflow.
  • This leaves (essentially) a series of  T junctions (at (1)the “Rhubarb” sculpture), (2)Tramway Ave/Broadway, Broadway/Romford Rd,   (3) Grove/Great Eastern Rd  (4) Angel Lane/Great Eastern Rd.) These to have, in principle “hold left” arrangements to prevent left hooks and attractive options for cycles turning right.
  • Additional cycle parking at convenient points with large footfall.
  • Maintain and, in some areas  improve, existing facilities e.g. at pavement level on the Grove, the Grove Crescent contraflow, Oxford Rd, the eastbound bus lane in the Broadway.
  • 20mph throughout.

This form of design would bring huge public realm gains including the link between the Stratford Centre to Westfield; permit the repositioning of crossings and bus stops to more convenient locations; and reduce conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and motor traffic.

 

 

 

 

 

Newham Council and Cycle Superhighway 2

As long ago as 31 July 2103 Councillor Conor Mcauley, then Executive Member for Regeneration,  trumpeted in the Newham Recorder “Our vision is for Newham’s streets to be made more accessible for cyclists” and called for more of the Cycle Superhighway type of infrastructure in Newham.  He ended “We’ll keep lobbying TfL to do their bit and deliver a cycle hire scheme and a cycling network that will benefit all.”  This looked like a change of approach from the Council that had previously blocked Cycle Superhighway 2 through Newham. Completing CS2 to Ilford is one of Newham Cyclists Space for Cycling suggestions to which Councillor Patel of Manor Park signed up.  It was included in Newham Council’s mini-Holland bid, but this was unsuccessful.  Since then  we have seen  no sign that Newham Council has pressed for this and it now appears to be dropped from TfL’s Cycle superhighway programme.

This unsurprising  outcome is compounded by Newham Council’s approach to the existing CS2.  It has secured the removal of a key section providing protection for cyclists from being “left hooked” at the junction of Broadway and Tramway Avenue, leaving the current dogs breakfast, which needs a plethora of signs addressed to both drivers and cyclists to be careful. This change was demanded in the face of a safety audit that confirmed that this change made this junction more dangerous for cyclists.  The reason? As the Council eventually admitted, this was to accomodate “driver misbehaviour”.

On 17 September 2014 Councillor Corbett  told the Recorder “The Council has made clear to TfL the urgent need to fully address all safety issues at this location and review the design proposals,” he said. “This should be done in conjunction with key stakeholders such as the council, police, emergency services and cycling groups.”

” We will return to install the final, agreed design later this year once the local development works are fully completed, and remain committed to provide safe cycling infrastructure across London.”

There has been no change to this unction, made more dangerous for cyclists by the actions of Newham Council itself.

 

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On 3 December 2014  a spokeswoman for the Council misleadingly told the Recorder that the removal was at the behest of TfL, wrongly said that the Council only closed the risky sliproad (which is still open) and that the changes were done following unspecified “concerns” raised by the police and cyclists. The Council have  now admitted  that these “concerns”  were expressed by three cyclists who happened to randomly stop when Council officials were looking at the junction, but they have still to reveal the nature of these “concerns” despite two freedom of Information requests concerning this junction.  There is no indication that these cyclists preferred the current situation to the protection provided by the CS2 with its “wands” i.e. the latest version provided by TfL.

At no time were Newham Cyclists consulted despite the latest in a series of claims that ” We value the views of Newham’s cycling community and are committed to ensuring that there are safe cycling routes in the borough.”