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!

 

Networking Event

As mentioned at the AGM, there is going to be a cycling ‘networking’ event at the Gate in Forest Gate later this month.  The details are below.  If you are interested in helping out, please let us know – and please spread the word to your non-cycling friends!

On your bike
A drop-in evening to find out more about how you can get cycling
Do you have a bike you never use? Thinking of getting one? Keen to try cycling but don’t know where to start? Come to our drop-in event to find out more and to get you started. 
At the Gate Community Centre on Woodgrange Road we will have people to advise on cycle confidence training, cycle maintenance, some bicycle accessories for sale, the police who will security mark your bike if you bring it, information on local cycle routes and more. 
Brought to you by Newham Cyclists and Newham Council

Crossrail – Manor Park consultation

The attached have been received by Manor Park residents.

Despite discussions, there is no provision for cycling at all (with the exception of a few racks round the corner).  The leaflet states that this is NOT the final agreed scheme, so we need to get as many responses as possible demanding cycle provision.

The email address for responses is: newhamcrossrail@newham.gov.uk

Crossrail Manor Park

Crossrail Manor Park 2

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Greenway Closure

As many of you know, the section of the Greenway at the CS2 end has been closed for a staggering 45 week period, whilst Thames Water carry out essential repair work on the Channelsea Bridge.

The issue is not the closure, but the lack of alternative route, which is a complicated but unacceptable situation.  For once, LB Newham are not totally responsible, but they have not helped the situation.  Because the Greenway is not a Right of Way, but a Permissive Route, the regulations are different.  It seems that there is no actual obligation to provide an alternative route.  However the transport team at Newham are well aware that this is not good enough.  Part of the problem  seems to have been that the closure was only supposed to be for a month.  The change to almost a year was very last minute.

The decision not to use Canning Road (which was the route Newham Cyclists requested) as the alternative route seems to be based on 2 main issues.

1. It is a route used by emergency vehicles

2. It is not usually the done thing to put traffic lights at the bottom of a hill (!).

Some of you will have seen the very detailed piece on the route here:  https://www.easternism.co.uk/?p=107

The lack of signage and the difficulty of crossing Manor Road is obvious.

This morning Arnold, Bill and I met with Richard Wadey to ride through the route.   The signage should have gone up weeks ago and it seems to have fallen through the gaps for it to be checked.  Richard is pushing this forward.  It may be that some ‘guerilla signage’ is needed in the meantime!

Some of the improvements that have come out of the ‘ward audits’ we have done as a group with Richard, as well as other improvements that have already been agreed would make the route much more cycle friendly and those improvements are being pushed by Richard as well.  These include access into Leywick Street.  The bus stop opposite has approval to be moved, so that a cycle crossing can be put in – the barriers will obviously be removed.  The concrete bollards which are currently in place will be replaced with a single removable bollard.  This would mean that as you come down the Greenway ramp and use the pavement to cycle under the bridge and then the already signed shared use section, you would be able to safely cross Manor Road and enter Leywick Street.

Timing on this is unclear, but Richard is hoping to be able to report back to us before Monday’s meeting.

What none of this helps, is the fact that this alternative route is a very long way around.  We have asked Richard to further investigate the Canning Road alternative.  If anyone knows of any other locations where there are traffic lights at the bottom of a hill, let us know!

 

Readout from January Meeting and Review of the Olympic Park

On 26 January we held another lively and well attended meeting.  Forest Gate Councillor Ellie Robinson attended with two Newham Council Officers.

The main item on the agenda was discussion of how Crossrail money for environmental improvements around Forest Gate and Maryland Stations could be spent.  See earlier post for the initial drawings.  Plenty of concrete suggestions were made to improve the the initial plans as far as cycling is concerned and these were taken away by the Council officers.  We emphasised to Councillor Robinson how important it was to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists, including by imposing a 20mph limit.  She took a lively interest and invited further representations from individuals by e-mail to her Council e-mail address.

There was also an outline of our vision for redesigning the Stratford gyratory .  TfL and Newham Council will soon be starting serious design work for which £1m in funding is available.  Newham cyclists are working up detailed representations which will be fed into this process, including the LCC Infrastructure review group.

There were other short updates on some positive developments: (1) the Aldgate to Hainault Quietway as it goes through north Newham.  This is in TfL’s second tranche of quietways and we are ahead of our neighbouring boroughs in planning this; (2) the first fruits of the Ward Audit  – with 19 permeability schemes for “urban Newham” already having been approved by the Council and the other 400+ being prioritised for approval; (3) the preliminary results of the initial study for remedial work on Westfield Ave and Montfichet Rd ;  (4) news that a further study of how to improve the wider  Olympic Park/Westfield area for cyclists in view of the possible adoption of the roads by the Council  is going out to tender; and (5) an indication that the Roding Valley cycle and footway study is progressing.

Less promising was the continued dog’s breakfast that is the junction of Tramway Avenue and the Broadway.  It is a key demand that this be improved as part of the reworking of Stratford gyratory.  This episode acts as a timely reminder that our input is vital to avoid poor designs which ultimately waste public money.

Finally, our draft ride programme for 2015 was circulated.  Watch this space.

In relation to item (4), on 30 January a group of Newham Cyclists rode around the Olympic Park area with two Newham Council sustainable transport officers, looking particularly at the periphery of the area and points of access.  From this it became clear that a coherent and useful study must  cover as wide an area as possible, even if it strayed slightly outside the borough.  Some good news is that Temple Mill Lane east is to be permanently bus/cycles only.  This is something that we have campaigned for over several years.

We also took the opportunity to discuss ideas  for the Canning Town to Excel Centre area.

It has become clear what opportunity there is to link these various improvements, together with the Greenway and the Lea Valley to create a major generator for both leisure and utility cycling in Newham.

Crossrail Plans – Forest Gate

The proposed plans for the Crossrail complementary measures are attached.  As with Manor Park, these are proposals only and comments are invited.  We have invited the Forest Gate councillors as well as Murray Woodbury to our monthly meeting on the 26th January, so please have a look ahead of the meeting and bring your comments along to the meeting!

FG Public Realm masterplan FG Photographic record Overview ML Public Realm Masterplan Maryland artist impressions ML Traffic modelling ML Furniture Strategy ML Spatial Strategy FG artists impressions FG – Traffic modelling FG Furniture Strategy FG Spatial Strategy