The ride season got off to a good start with over 15 joining in the first Newham Ride. Â Fortunately the weather was excellent and there was improved access to the Olympic Park. Â Having taken a look at the northern section of the Olympic park we moved down the river Lea to Cody Dock where Simon, who runs it, outlined his successes to date in carving out a new riverside community facility and his exciting plans for the future.
We moved down to the River Thames for a lunch break at Trinity Buoy Wharf.
Then through the Royal Docks to Â Thames Barrier Park, with its riverside pavilion and view of the Thames Barrier.
We then wended our way back via Beckton and the Geeway to the View Tube for a wellÂ deserved piece of cake and cup of tea. Â For the majority of the riders there were significant new discoveries and for all of us a pleasant reminder of our interesting borough.
This is a news update to sight everyone on what is current, before the annual meeting on 31 March.
Sadly Newham’s mini-Holland bidÂ was unsuccessful, but there are positives to come out of the exercise, and Councillor Christie has been in touch to outline these. Â In fact there remains a good chance Newham may get most of what it bid for (albeit through different pots of money). Â For example Stratford gyratory has been listed amongst the junctions for improvement, TfL has committed support for the Leaway (Cody Dock to Canning Town) Â and there is likely to be support for the Greenway improvement and linked quietways. CS2 to Ilford may come from the CS programme.
Disappointingly our request forÂ Upper StÂ to have a 20mph limit was overruled. on the following grounds: Â “Being a bus route and major road link in the borough it was agreed that it was not appropriate to install speed reducing features on Upper Road to bring the speed limit down to 20mph, and that the objection be overruled” Â It is particularly retrograde to treat Upper St as a major through road, which it should be not and does not have to be; and then to use that as an excuse to allow motor vehicles to use it at a dangerous speed. Â Cyclists and pedestrians have to pay for the police and the Council’s unwillingness to enforce traffic rules.
I have been given a design forÂ Carpenter’s RdÂ for when it is opened as a through route. Â This is a key Olympic Park connection route. Â A 20 mph limit is proposed (it is a bus route and a through route which makes Upper St even less understandable). Â It looks like cyclists are being pushed back onto the carriageway from shared paths in the railway tunnel. Â I have sought further clarification.
- The Council have adoptedÂ Honour Lea Avenue. Â This is the key east west cycle route through the Olympic Park for which LLDC left its miserly and minimal cycle facilities – in particular a two way cycle track on only one side of the road. Â Fortunately the Council in this instance recognises that the cycling provision should be better (indeed throughout the Olympic Park and Westfield areas). Â So still lots to play for here. On the bright side, Â the crossing over this River Lea on this route (near the Copper Box) has been left as stairs and a lift. Â This was a matter of constant objection from LCC and it now looks like something better is going to happen.
- Sandringham Rd and Cramner RdÂ cycle contraflows, as request by us, Â are now going to be put in place (albeit later than the one introduction of the one-way schemes).
TheÂ “No to Sivertown Tunnel”Â have campaign have written to seek support, financial or otherwise.
The first of this year’sÂ Newham RidesÂ had a good turnout this Saturday and excellent weather.
This will take place at 7.00pm at CoffeE7. Â See events page for details.
Another excellent meeting.
Â General news:
- CS2: Â the LCC post implementation audit of the section completed, which covers the criticisms raised at the January meeting is in the hands of both TfL Â and Newham council. Â still no news on when the Staratford Broadway section is likely to be completed. Â In response to a request from Action and Rights of disabled People in Newham the consensus of the meeting was that there was no significant problem, so far, at the island bus stops. Â There was no objection to giving priority to pedestrians at the raised tables but, onÂ theÂ otherÂ hand, there may be an advantage in not having priorities by analogy with the idea of shared space found, notably, at Exhibition Rd.
- This new website was greeted with an acclamation of approval. Â Thanks were given to Rob for getting this up an running.
- The ward audit with Newham Council is due to continue this week and the team of volunteers has expanded.
- We were given an outline of the plans for improving the Greenway and permeability in the area around the Hospital, New City, Brampton etc. schools including more ramps on the Greenway, permeability in the areas and a north south quiet route from Boundary Lane to the Romford Rd. Â This would meet a number of our long standing requests.
- Our next meeting on 31 March at CoffeE7 will be our annual meeting. Â It will be a social occasion and celebration of the progress over the year. Â Light catering will be provided. Â Watch this space.
Ward asks were discussed. Â They need to be formulated into a headline sentence and a description of not more than 100 words. Â In the light of our discussions these are my first tentative drafts on which comment (or alterantives) would be most welcome (by 21 Feb please to me – see contacts):
- Stratford and New Town. Â “Support the mini-Holland Proposal to remove Stratford Gyratory and complement it by facilitating safe cycling in Warton Rd, Carpenters Rd and Cam Rd – the Broadway.” Â Themes- Liveable Town Centres and Â Protected Space for Cycling. Â Warton Rd and Carpenters Rd need protected cycle routes. Â The Cam Rd access to the important Channelsea Path would be facilitated by two way working on CS2 for which there is room if the redundant barriers were removed.
- Manor Park.Â Â “Completion of CS2 from Stratford to Ilford according to good continental standards” Â Theme- Protected Space for Cycling. Â “The completion of CS2 will provide a safe route on a major route linking densely populated areas to a string of town centres and assist cycle commuters. All bus and cycle lanes included in the design should be operational 24 hours.
- Little Ilford and Wall End.Â “Establish a “Lower Roding Way” using opportunities to create a continuous cycle and pedestrian path on the Newham side of the A406″ Â Theme- Greenways. Â There is the opportunity to create a greenway through Little IlfordÂ Park, Barrington Playing Fields and Langdon School linking CS3 to the Romford Road and the Roding Way. Â It would also involve improving or bypassing the A406 junction with Barking Rd. Â It would link to other Greenways and quietways in and connected to the Newham; and ease the difficulty in cycling north-south and open up a useful connection to the Riverside Opportunity Area.
- East Ham South. Â “Improve the crossing of the A13 at the Greenway to make it more cycle and pedestrian friendly.” Â Theme – Greenways. Â This junction has cycle provision through a series of toucan lights but they are extremely and unnecessarily adverse. This would improve the linkage to the southern section of the Greenway and also complement the Beckton ward ask.
- Beckton.Â Â “Improve the Asda roundabout and restore the cycle/and bus lane between there and the A13.” Â Theme -Â Protected Space for Cycling. Â The Asda roundabout is cycle unfriendly roundabout made worse by the difficulty crossing traffic leaving Asda. Â ThisÂ needs redesigning and the major desire route to the A13 (and CS3 and the Greenway) northbound along Woolwich Manor Way needs protection which could be given by a Â cycle track or a 24 hour bus/cycle lane (effectively restoring the bus lane that has been removed).
- Canning Town North.Â “Completion of the Lea Valley Path from Three Mills to the Thames in accordance with the mini-Holland proposals.” Theme -Â Greenways. Â The planning for this work has been inherited from the Thames Gateway Development Corporation and would create a major leisure route and a route linking Canning Town to Stratford.
- Plaistow South, Plaistow North and Green St West. Â “Complete a quietway from the A13 via Brampton Manor Schools and New City Rd to the Romford Rd” Theme – Â Safer Routes to Schools. Â This route can be carved from existing off road and quiet routes and would link numerous schools and the hospital.
- East Ham Central. Â “Permit cycling both ways on the restricted section of High Street North and improve the junction with Barking Road. Â Theme- Liveable Town Centres. Â “This is the natural route for cyclists wishing to visit East Ham Town Centre.
- Forest Gate North and South.Â [This ask would benefit particularly form further consideration. Â The square brackets indicate an extension of the idea to the south of the Romford Road]Â “Transform Woodgrange Rd Â and Woodford Rd [/Upton Lane] from [St Angela’s School/] the Â Romford Rd to Wanstead Flats by removing on street car parking, preventing through coaches to Stanstead, enforcing a 20mph limit, and drawing on the example of the Exhibition Rd shared space scheme to Â discourage through traffic, and give more priority to pedestrians and cyclists” Â Theme-Â Liveable Town Centres. Removing the onstreet parking will make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists and it would give sight lines from side streets. Â Coaches to Stanstead have a perfectly good route via the Lea Interchange. Â This scheme would complement other public realm improvements in the pipeline such as Forest Lane and Earlham Grove. The present system encourages through traffic to the environmental degradation of Forest Gate town centre – not least by the adverse phasing of lights at the expense of pedestrians and cyclists. Â Shared space will help ensure careful driving at an (adequate and suitable) 20mph speed limit.”
We also discussed aÂ borough-wide askÂ for theÂ Mayoral election:
- “Promote cycle safety for children by making a general 20mph speed limit and promote an “every child a cyclist” scheme. Â Theme – 20mph. Â Newham is ideally suited for 20mph (except for the A12 and A13) as it is mostly narrow residential roads or new development that should be designed with residents in mind. Â The present complexity of variable speed limits and the existing anachronisms encourage speeding. Â A borough wide 20 mph limit would promote Newham as a place to live rather than a place to drive through, and facilitate enforcement and decluttering. An Â enforced 20mph speed limit would be an excellent environment in which to train young people to develop the safe cycling habit.
In order to complete our “ward asks” for the LCC Space for Cycling Campaign by the end of the month we are bringing forward our monthly meeting to 10 February. Â This will be the main item on the agenda, but Â we can also pick up on Â developments from last month’s busy meeting. Â We will meet in our usual venue CoffeE7 in Forest Gate at 7.00pm.
In the past month
- Our suggestions for Henniker Rd and Oxford Rd in Stratford have been taken up by Newham Council.
- LCC have submitted objections to the cycle facilities in and around the new Chobham Manor development in the Olympic Park, which dispay the usual tendency of developments in the Olympic Park to provide the minimumcycle provision required by planning guidance and dress up poor quality facilities as something good for cyclists.
- We have participated in a post implementation audit of the CS2 extension which picked up lots of small points where the provision is unecessarily sub-optimal. These will be recorded for future reference but the main priority was seen as improving CS2 from Bow to Aldgate (including the Bow flyover).
- Karena is attending the seminar on Thursday hosted by our London Assembly Member, John Biggs, on CS2. We disussed our main bugbears, but if you have any you would like to draw attention to please post them on this site for Karena to take up.
- The Bike Jumble Sale at the view tube will also have bike marking. There are still some spaces if you would like to have a stall there.
- Our annual meeting will be on 31 March 2014.
- We will be looking to run Newham Rides on 15 March (linked to Velodrome event); either the beginning or the end of Kike Week (whihc is 15-22 June), 8 July (the day after the London stage of the Tour de France) and 20 September (the Waterfront Festival). Planning will continue on these and longer rides over the winter. Possibly also a ride linked to WWI commemorations.
- In addition to co-ordinating with Tower Hamlets Wheelers next year we will publicise the Hackey Cyclists series of social rides.
- This was our main item of discussion. The experimental pilot is going well. If you would like to see it, the current temporary address is
Please bear in mind that this is the exprimnetal site as is the existing content, which is not to be relied upon. All feedback on the layout of the site and what you would like to see covered by it gratefully received.
- We thought we had progressed enough to obtain a propoer domain name and go live in the New Year. Watch this space.