Partnership with Ambition, Aspire, Achieve

in 2017 we piloted partnership work with AAA, a charity based in the Arc in Hermit Road Park, Canning Town – by running a 3 bike fixing stalls at their Saturday morning children’s cycling club and leading a gentle ride along the Greenway.
The club runs from 10.30 am to 2.00pm each Saturday
This was considered sufficient of a success to repeat the activity this year, provided there is sufficient support for it.  Other suggestions for this year are:
  • to run the bike stall a week before a ride in order to do as much bike checking as possible as early as possible;
  • have a ride during the period of initial activity on the Greenway, following its official 24 hour opening on 8 January;
  • to fit as best possible with the Woodgrange stall and rides calendars which will shortly be published.
Three bike fixing sessions and three rides in the first half of 2018 are contemplated, for which 5 pairs of dates look feasible:
10 & 17 Feb; 17 and 24 Feb; 17 & 24 March;28 April & 5 May; 26 May & 2 June.
I have set up two Doodle polls (one for the stalls and one for the rides) and will take the best three sessions.  If you would like to help please sign up.  It is not necessary to be available for both date in a pair.  The only requirement is that there be a sufficient number signed up to run the events – probably 3 for each.
The Doodle poll for the stalls is:
Thanks for your help, if you would like to know more please get in touch with me.
Arnold

November News

Our next meeting will be 29 January, by which time we should have some more news on campaigning issues and our ride season will not only be published but will have started!

Stratford High Street

Major works affecting cycling have started at the Stratford Gyratory, the Strand East site near the Bow flyover, and Letts Road. This has exacerbated the difficulties of the Cycle Superhighway 2 which was already dogged by works. We have been active in seeking measures to lessen the impact (on occasions very severe) on cycling and have brought in the assistance of the LCC, Newham Officers and Councillors and the TfL Development Impact Adviser, who took a ride around with us to see the problems for himself.

Cycling in Newham

We have prepared a paper on cycling in Newham, inspired by (a) work done for us by “20’s Plenty” showing that Newham lags behind other boroughs in road safety and health and (b)TfL analysis the huge potential for cycling in Newham (which includes four of its top 20 London “Potential Cycle Connections” for the whole of London). Our paper reviews the approach to cycling in the borough, analyses why the cycling deficit has arisen, and calls for an effective and coherent cycle strategy. The full paper has been distributed to those councillors who have expressed an interest in cycling and is on our website.

Consultations

In the meantime Olawale, our Infrastructure Rep has taken the lead on a number of responses to consultations. Our general approach is aimed at pedestrian and cycling safety: by promoting segregated tracks and cycle lanes of sufficient width where traffic flow demands; safe junctions; 20 mph on residential roads: creating areas without through traffic; “Copenhagen” style pavements giving pedestrians priority over side roads; and opposition to parking on pavements.

The Autumn Ride Season

A crowded, enjoyable and varied series of rides took place through the autumn. This included another East London Brewery Ride, and a new ride out to Much Hadham (taking in a visit to the Henry Moore Foundation). The first Bike from Boleyn Ride of the football season attracted lots of publicity and a variety of cycles. The next will be in April. Our usual October Rainham ride was blessed with traditional fine weather and attracted a record participation. We were able to take in benefited an open day at Rainham Hall. Another first was a ride for the children of the “Ambition Aspire Achieve” Saturday Cycle Club along the Greenway. A late addition to the programme was a Newham Heritage Ride, as a contribution to Newham Heritage Week, using part of our familiar Newham Ride route with the addition of some historical sound clips provided by Eastside Community Heritage.

Fix My Ride Sessions

Undertaken at Woodgrange Market in September and October and at Ambition Aspire Achieve in Canning Town in November. And after all that… We are now planning our activities for 2018, and running a fully subscribed women’s bike maintenance class over winter.

Arnold

Your can find here our  November news .

Steve riding RideLondon 100

As some of you know, our ride leader Steve is riding the RideLondon 100 this year for AAA.  Please sponsor him if you can.  We are building a relationship with AAA, supporting their weekend cycle club, so this is a cause that we are very happy to promote!

From Steve:

I’m am riding 100 miles for a very worthy local cause; to help young people in need and promote cycling.
Can you help us raise money for the Ambition, Aspire, Achieve Cycling Hub for disadvantaged and disabled children and young people?
Please donate to their JustGiving Crowdfunding Page:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/AAALondon100?utm_id=1&utm_term=AKXN9byDN

Thanks for your support

TfL & Mayor of London’s Strategic Cycling Analysis

This is a fairly substantial, but hugely important document.  The committee will be reviewing it, but there is some big stuff in here and it would be good to get thoughts from as many people as possible.  It’s also worth reading Simon Munk’s (LCC’s infrastructure guru and Waltham Forest campaigner) blog which gives a good summary.

strategic-cycling-analysis

A Celebration of Cycling

On Sunday morning, thanks to the nomination I received from the group, I got to ride in a celebration of Women’s Cycling, on closed roads in central London as part of the events preceding The Women’s Tour.

It was a short ride but the women taking part were all there because of the part they play in inspiring other women to ride – whether by providing training, or leading rides, or campaigning to make the city a place where women feel safe to cycle with their children.  Some of the other LCC local groups were represented as was LCC HQ. There were bikes of all shapes and sizes – cargo bikes, side by sides,  an elliptical bike and even a penny farthing!

Both the Mayor of London and his walking & cycling commissioner, Will Norman, were there to wave us off as we rode out on part of the route that was ridden much faster later in the day by the elite women in the final stage of the Tour; along Piccadilly, Regents Street, Haymarket and around Trafalgar Square, before finishing on Pall Mall.

 

Bike stall success

We had a great day on Saturday at Woodgrange Market, helping a number of people of all ages and from all backgrounds get their bikes back on the road. One of our favourite visitors was Jan who had not ridden her bike for 4 years and wanted to get back on it.  She had a lovely dutch Gazelle bike which had a flat tyre & needed some general TLC.  We helped her replace the inner tube & get the wheel back on her bike.  She was spotted riding around Forest Gate the next day!

Our aim is to teach as many people as possible – especially women – to deal with basic problems, in particular fixing a puncture!

A few weeks ago, Woman’s Hour had a whole feature on cycling including this great video with Jenni from London Bike Kitchen which does just that, with some great tips & tricks!

Our next stall is on Saturday 10th June – see you there!

 

Newham Council mislead over CS2

Newham Council have now belatedly provided information about the removal of CS2 at Tramway Avenue.  The documents provided confirm the story of TfL that the changes were driven by Newham Council because of “confusion” and “driver misbehaviour” and also reveal that the cycle lane was removed in the face of a safety audit pointing out the reduction in the protection for cyclists.

Nevertheless the Council’s subsequent conduct can only be described as grossly misleading.  Here is the statement made to the Newham Recorder published on  3 December.  :

“CS2 route was removed by TfL, not the council, who only closed the risky sliproad.”

In fact Newham Council was the driving force behind the removal the protected cycle lane.  If it was just a case of closing the sliproad there would have been no need at all to remove CS2.   Newham Cyclists would welcome the closing of Tramway Avenue.  It is one of our long term aims.

Following concerns raised by the police and cyclists and a number of serious near misses on this route, a decision to close the Tramway Avenue sliproad was taken in September”

In fact the documents provided by both TfL and Newham Council do not reveal any concerns by cyclists, particularly in its latest – “wands” version. We shall be following this up. The police did raise concerns at an early stage but participated in the safety audit that took place.  The “risky” sliproad remains open.

“We value the views of Newham’s cycling community and are committed to ensuring that there are safe cycling routes in the borough”

Why  not, then, consult on this high profile action to revert back to a dangerous junction layout for cyclists?  The Council have resisted since 2009 our suggestion for a cycling liaison group and consistently resist our suggestions for greater safety such as 20mph. The Council’s values and the level of their commitment can be judged by their actions rather than their words.

 

 

Inactive Newham

Indeed, Newham, an Olympic Borough, is the least active local authority in England!   How has this happened?

One clue may be found in Newham Council’s historic antipathy at the political level to promoting cycle provision, even when this would not have cost it anything extra.  A prime example is Stratford High St.  Several million pounds were made available to the Council  to improve this stretch of road in the run up to the Olympics.  No cycling facilities were installed,  but the money was used  for multi-coloured vanity balls.  Then  the Council blocked the early development of  Cycle Superhighway 2 in the borough.    Since the Olympics, an extension to Cycle Superhighway  has had to be retrofitted to the recently regenerated Stratford High St,  and despite the Council later reversing  its opposition to extending  CS2 to Ilford,  the legacy is that TfL no longer seem interested.    Another serious example is The Council’s diversion of earlier TFL  funding intended primarily for transport schemes to other purposes.  Furthermore Newham Councillors on the Olympic Planning Committee supported the minimalist approach to cycling mentioned earlier.

There is some good work being done at official level in the Council, such as  putting together an excellent mini-Holland bid and the very thorough ward audit exercise of cycle permeability.  At the political level the Council does at least professes support for cycling in its public statements.  However a series of recent examples looks like a disturbing  trend of  casual negligence (at best) at the political level:

  • Protection for cyclists has been actively removed by Newham Council  intervention  by  the removal of  Cycle Superhighway 2 at the junction of Tramway Avenue.  See this website for the full story.
  • Our proposal for a 20mph limit on Upper Street, a residential rat run was refused, on the grounds that this was a bus route.  Putting to one side the question why buses would want to travel at more than 20 mph along this road, it is notable that our neighbouring borough  Tower Hamlets Council is now consulting on making virtually the whole borough 20mph.  This is just the latest in the series of local authorities  (even stretching to New York) looking to reduce speed limits.  Newham Council, however, remains behind the times.
  • Cycle permeability on yet another one way street in “urban Newham” ,  Cramner  Rd,  was blocked on the grounds of lack of width of the carriageway , despite this road being no narrower that the adjacent  two way streets. Cycle contra flows on one way streets  are now  encouraged by new Department for Transport rules.  Again Newham Council is behind the times.
  • The apparent  inadvertent removal of cycle parking at various locations, without any effort to put this right.

Promoting cycling is a well recognised  easy winner for increasing regular exercise, and terrific value for money.  Hackney, another neighbouring borough, has achieved one of the highest cycling rates in the country.  Newham is recognised as having very great untapped potential for everyday cycling with sources of funding available.  What appears lacking is the political will to even match the examples set by our neighbours