We received the following email from Gareth Knight, Conservative party candidate for Canning Town South, which was originally sent direct to LCC.
Hi, I am a candidate in Canning Town South in Newham and I’ve just seen your website.
Firstly, my twitter handle is @GarethKnight and I’m more than happy for your members to contact me.
Secondly, I support your calls for dedicated cycle lanes on the Lower Lea Crossing and Silvertown Viaduct.Â
Finally, I would go far further than this and support a wholesale strategy to encourage residents in my ward to commute to Canary Wharf by bike, relieving pressure on the DLR and Jubilee Lines, including:
-secure cycle parking serving the developments on Western Gateway and Seagull Lane and the new developments off Hallsville Road;
-secure cycle parking for all new developments in the Canning Town area to be built as they are constructed;
-bike racks and cycle lanes on Western Gateway serving local shops, restaurants, the Emirates Air Line and the ExCel centre;
-the introduction of “Boris Bikes” to the Royal Docks area (they currently stop before they reach Newham);
-a cyclist hotline where reports of potholes, dangerous roads and dangerous drivers can be made so action can be taken quickly;
-mandatory cycle proficiency training for all local primary school children;
-an offer for adults to receive cycle proficiency training to increase confidence in cycling on London roads and reminders of the highway code as far as it affects cyclists.
I would actively encourage any of my colleagues on the council to identify similar opportunities to promote cycling in their wards, most notably around the Royal Docks and Olympic Park.
Newham has one of the worst reputations of any borough in London when it comes to being cycle-unfriendly and if elected, I would want to substantially shift that reputation as far as my ward is concerned.
I hope that explains my position!
We now have all but 2 wards where people have taken action (i.e. put in their postcode and sent emails to the candidates).
The 2 where no actions have been taken are:
Green Street East
So if you live in either of those, or you know anyone who does, please visit the website or pass on the details.
The TUSC and Green Parties have both said they are supporting the campaign right across London. In Newham we have 2 Green Party candidates (both in Forest Gate North) and 8 TUSC candidates.
Also there is one Green (Jane Lithgow) and one TUSC (Lois Austin) standing for Mayor.
We have 1 confirmed Conservative supporting (Adam Nowacki in Beckton) and 9 Labour candidates.
Plenty of work still to be done, but it’s a start!
It’s not good reading, but I’ve just spent a bit of time going through the ‘Action’ website to list all our wards, the candidates in them and the support so far. Â If you haven’t yet contacted your candidates through the website, please do. Â If you HAVE contacted them and they aren’t yet supporting, please feel free to harangue them. Â Obviously in a nice polite ‘tinging of the bell’ kind of way. Â Twitter is a good medium for this if you use it!
S4C Ward by Ward support
SPACE FOR CYCLING update:
So far we have ‘action’ in 14 of our 20 wards. This is a great start – but we need to get all wards covered and as many candidates as possible supporting.
Please, head over to www.action.spaceforcycling.org and do your bit.
The specific wards with no action so far are:
Wall End: http://action.space4cycling.org/data/ward/1220
Green Street East: http://action.space4cycling.org/data/ward/1226
Green Street West:
East Ham Central:
East Ham South:
You may remember that some of the group met up with some Dutch transportation students who were in London to look at cycling in general but specifically at the Bow Roundabout. Â This was the presentation they made of their findings. Â Interesting reading!
PP CYCLING IN LONDON – BOW
In celebration of International Women’s Day LCC will be linking to blogs from women talking about LCC and their ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign. They’ve kindly asked if I’d like to participate so here goes!
Hmmm, maybe a bit of background about me first. My name is Lisa and I’m a gardener based in Forest Gate. I can usually be seen trundling my kit up and down the local streets in a shopping trolley with red roses stuck to the front. My sister-in-law’s nickname for me is ‘born too late’ as my heart resides in the 1940’s, hence my business being called London Land Girl. As far as my cycling style is concerned that also seems to be stuck in the 1940’s. I’m a heel wearing, no helmet, anti-Lycra, no to hi-viz kind of girl.
I started cycling again in 2008 as I suppose like many adults I hadn’t been on a bike since I was a kid. At the age of 7 I can remember being very proud of my brand new, shiny, bright red Chopper bike and riding it round and around the square of grass outside our flat in Bethnal Green – no particular place to go and for no other reason than I could and because it gave me such great joy to do so! Today the joy’s still there but the bike is not so shiny or new as I’m riding a 38yr old Elswick Hopper Safeway. Still bright red though!
For me LCC’s ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign is about sharing that childhood joy with as many people as possible by fostering a society of competent and confident cyclists and ensuring they have a secure environment in which to pursue that joy. Hopefully the provision of safe integrated cycling in our towns and cities will not only improve the overall environment of town centres (benefitting everyone not just cyclists) but also relieve the tensions that exist between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, of which I’m fully aware as I am a cyclist, pedestrian and car owner all rolled into one.
For me not being a member of LCC is pure madness for anyone who cycles – why wouldn’t you want to be part of an organisation that’s fighting your corner for you?
LCC is the voice of reason in a sea of nonsensical and contradictory legislation so join up today -Â your cyclists need you!
This is good news, via LCC today
Notes from Lisa, Bill & Olawale on their meeting with a group of Dutch students in London to study the Bow roundabout & cycling in London generally.
DUTCH SCHEME IS BASED ON ‘LIVEABLE CITIES’
- Based onÂ education, infrastructure and mutual respect.
- Number of people moving into/returning to live in cities rising compared to 30 yrs ago.
- Cycling is main way people shop as supermarkets are never more than 1km away from residential areas.
- Cycling supports local shops and businesses as a result.
- Netherlands, like UK doesn’t see high rates of cycling within different ethnic groups.
IT TOOK THE DUTCH 35YRS TO GET TO WHERE THEY ARE NOW
- 1970’s cycling rates in Holland low but death rates (especially amongst children) was high. Â As cycling rates increased to around 40% in the 1980/90’s the death rate fell.
- Dutch now have high rate of cyclists of all ages.
- Cycling is main form of transport for the majority of Dutch citizens.
- Most Dutch cyclistsÂ don’tÂ have driving licences – license holder numbers have declined.
- Car ownership in the Netherlands is expensive – taxation/licensing andÂ especiallyÂ parking. Â A Dutch car owner will pay approximately the same amount monthly as a UK car owner does annually.
- Dutch have financial incentives to encourage cycling – UK cyclists can claim commuter miles against tax.
- Dutch provide free & secure cycle parking so theft rates of bicycles is low and parking easy.
- Education and cycling awareness begins at primary level in Holland – children are allowed to cycle on pavements until the age of 6yrs and then they are on the roads.
- Discussed how cars are still priority in UK – seen as status symbols/aspirational goal by some – cycling viewed as an activity for children or as ‘poor man’s transport’.
- Discussed the tensions between London pedestrians, cyclists and drivers and how all needed to be aware and have respect for others using the same space.
- Mentioned that Highway Code needed to be updated and the way people taught to drive needed to have more emphasis on pedestrian and cyclist Â priority.
- TFL and SUSTRANS should demonstrate cohesion of information/planning policy and education for cyclists and drivers.
- Need borough to borough cohesion regarding quiet routes and through ways together with reasoned enforcement.
- Discussed the possibility of introducing some form ofÂ â€˜presumed liabilityâ€™ (also known as â€˜stricter liabilityâ€™) in relation to accidents with motorised/non-motorised traffic which is commonplace in most Western European countries.
BOW ROUNDABOUT & POLITICS OF CYCLING
- Light phasing for cycle lights very short.
- No provision for safe pedestrian access or through-way.
- Dutch angle turning points to maximise view for vehicle drivers.
- Discussed problems with CS2 into city and danger of encouraging novice cyclists onto this ‘safe’ route.
- Had a lengthy discussion on segregated cycle paths – in Holland cyclists have priority at side road junctions unlike here. This means they can continue their journey without stopping at every side road (as with CS2). Â This will need a sea change in attitude – Â from motor traffic having priority in Britain to cycling being seen as a form of transport instead of a leisure activity!
- Discussed the issue of Â inadequate cycling provision and reactionary policy making by government – responding to protests such as those organised by LCC last summer (which some of the Dutch students at Bow attended).
- As politics are reactionary there is no real cohesive London-wide plan from Councils and very little mention of the ecological and health benefits a long-term cycling policy could provide.
- Discussed that LCC was the voice of sense and reason and the only real power that cyclists had to influence government policy.
- We were also asked if we thought that the Norman Foster designs for an overhead cycling road were practical,Â desirable or a good use of the money assigned for cycling. Â It was agreed that the plans were wonderful but far-fetched and would cost more money than was available – the money Â could be put to far better use by fixing major junctions and trouble spots throughout London, Bow included.
Great idea to get people cycling rather than driving during the upcoming tube strikes!
Happy New Year all.
I have been contacted by Lu at LCC regarding the Campaign Organisers for the 2014 election build up. Â They do not yet have any volunteers from Newham and are specifically hoping to recruit a few women (apparently we are in short supply).
If you haven’t already seen the info, please take a look at the details here:
There’s also an article on why one lady is volunteering:
There is a training session for volunteers on the 18th January, so if you are interested, please get in touch with LCC before then.