Readout from 30 January Meeting

It was standing room only at our January meeting and a wide variety of interesting issues were considered.  Please therefore forgive the long post.  If you would like further details on any of these matters please get in touch.

  • We decided to hold our annual meeting on 26 April 2017, venue to be confirmed.  There will be some catering.  All ideas for speakers or events gratefully received.
  • We decided to progress the idea of taking a monthly stall at Woodgrange Market on the second Saturday of the month (except winter) from 10 am to 2 pm,   to offer minor bike repairs (with a strong teaching element) to promote cycling; to promote LCC and Newham Cyclists; and to have a  jumble of unused bike equipment.  We agreed to apply for a grant for tools and other essential equipment and to use some of our existing funds for this purpose, initially £100 to establish a stock of spares.
  • The transfer to a new website is proceeding .  The new site (which is now in use) is being degliched and ought to offer new possibilities to communicate, such as e-mail alerts.
  • Two charities have offered us places on the summer Ride 100 – should anyone want to take this up please get in touch.
  • We decided to invite  the local charity Aspire, Ambition, Achieve to our next meeting to talk more of their proposed Saturday club for children based in Hermit Rd Park.
  • Steve outlined the ride programme.  He is intending to reschedule the Greenstead Ride that was rained off.  The next rides are a country ride around the Hoo Pensinsula on 12 February and a short family West Ham Heritage Ride in conjunction with the Bike from Boleyn Campaign on 4 March.
  • There is enormous activity on infrastructure at the moment, illustrated by number of outstanding consultations at the time of the meeting.Thanks to Olawale’s efforts we have been more active than ever in promoting good infrastructure.The outcome of the regular update meeting with Newham Council’s Sustainable Transport Officer before Christmas is available in chart form.  Get in touch if you would like to see it or discuss any particular infrastructure development (photos help).

    If there are particular infrastructure concerns they can be raised with us.

    The meeting appreciated the need to try to influence plans as they were being formed; the need to photograph and report (via ourselves) facilities not in good order, such as gates left open.  Generally when these have been raised with the Council there is a positive response.

    Issues which aroused particularly strong discussion were the Greenway (for which we will now seek a ride with Council officials) and events in the QE Olympic Park (which is also being looked at by LCC centrally).  We also  decided to assist those who had been waiting longer than they should for on-street secure cycle parking agreed by the Council.

  • Finally we discussed two disturbing local Labour Party developments:

First, West Ham Ward passed a motion seeking primary legislation to make it mandatory for cyclists to use cycle lanes.  It was pointed out that this was a retrograde battle fought and lost some years ago in the redraft of the Highway Code.  Also it was inappropriate in a borough where the cycle lanes can be very substandard (CS2 Warton Rd, Romford Rd) and the Council has even insisted on the  removal of a  protective lanes at a patently dangerous slip road (Tramway Ave) in order to accommodate driver misbehaviour.  We have sought advice from LCC and agreed to engage with this issue on social media and in the forthcoming borough insert to the LCC magazine.

Second, a motion was put at the Labour Group for the Council to reverse its position of support for the Silvertown Tunnel and to call for the project to be cancelled.  although this was in line with recently expressed  deep concerns about the project by the Council this motion was wrecked by an amendment proposed by a Cabinet Member.  The meeting noted this development with deep disappointment given the significant environmental degradation that this project will cause.

Arnold

(Belated) Readout from November Meeting

A well attended social gathering at the Wanstead Tap.

We managed to conduct some business. The main item was next year’s ride programme which is shaping up nicely and should be ready in the early New Year.  Early dates for your diary are 10 December for the Christmas Lights Ride and 14 January for a ride to the William Morris museum exhibition, “Posters of Protest”.

Other issues:

  • After further discussion we decided to maintain our opposition to the current Quietway plans for the junction at Leytonstone Rd between Henniker Rd and Buxton Rd.
  • Bike form Boleyn are holding a Quiz night on 13 January.  Newham Cyclists will be fielding a table.  If you would like to participate please get in touch with me.
  • All who had not were urged to respond to the Stratford gyratory consultation which closed on 30 November.
  • Our next infrastructure catch up meeting with the Newham council Sustainable Transport Officer will be on 16 December. if you have any infrastructure issues that you would like to raise please let me know.
  • We discussed Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park issues.
  • Our next meeting will be on 30 January 2017

Happy Christmas and New Year!

Arnold

 

 

Readout of October Meeting

A meeting packed with discussion set in the congenial surroundings of Eat 16. Apologies for the long post.

On rides:

  • Steve related the success of theBike from Boleyn ride which attracted over 50 riders including 7 Councillors and Stephen Timms MP. It has been reported in the Newham Recorder and will be in the Newham Mag to be issued on 4 November.
  • A bigger Bike from Boleyn ride is planned for April 22 (the Everton game). Put this weekend in the diary (in case the match is shifted to Sunday!).
  • Some other side benefits include; contact with the West Ham Supporters Club which isable to accommodate meetings; fundraising/social events are planned; we can adapt a Newham ride in February to bring in with West Ham heritage sites, with a view to attracting these participants.

We will discuss our 2017 ride programme at the next meeting which will have a more social focus. Inm the meantime our Brewery ride will take place on Saturday 5 November, meet at the View Tube at midday.

In respect of the Greenway (which was brought to Councillors attention as a cycle resource by the Bike from Boleyn Ride) there was good news: Planning applications are in for the 24 hour lighting and CCTV; work should start ona new Abbey Rd ramp and signalised crossing to the Channelsea path shortly; Newham Council has prioritised the other new ramps in this order (1) West Ham Memorial Park (2) Newham General Hospital (3) Lonsdale Ave/Stokes Rd (4) First Ave (5) Gallion’s Reach (6) Khartoum Rd (7) Corporation St. The funding is likely to reach to (3) and might even stretch to (5).

Furthermore TfL are going to look at the rubbish phasing of thelights at the A13 crossing (at long last).

However, the closure north of Stratford High St is likely to continue to at least spring 2018, but with any luck the pavement outside the former Porsche garage should be widened again soon to assist teh alternative shared path route.

Peter outlined the excellent progress he and Thom we making on building our new website. It should be possible to switch over shortly. It will be more mobile friendly and simple that the current site. The features suggested at the meeting, based on the current experience (and seemingly possible) were:

  • better links., e.g. between the calendar and rides and with Facebook and Twitter;
  • a facility to cut down posts with a “read more” button;
  • a facility to archive, e.g. our responses to consultations;
  • greater ability to download routes.

More long term we thought a “how to get there facility” would be useful, as would an weekly/fortnightly e-mail (with a view to replacing the current Yahoo Group) and an easy way for those interested to respond to consultations – see below.

We appreciated the need to cater for casual interest as well as the hard core supporter, and to seize the opportunity for educating Councillors.

On infrastructure:

  • The Forest Gate response had been lodged by Olawale and followed up with an e-mail to all local Councillors.
  • He had also lodged a response to the Westfield Ave crossing and elicited a helpful response from the responsible Council traffic officer.
  • The two Quietway consultations for crossing Leytonstone Rd at Buxton Rd which needed to be submitted this week were discussed at length and the meeting concluded that we should (a) remind the Council of thebetter option of using Chobham Rd(b) stick to TfL and LCC standards by calling for a signalised crossing – even if that were to be sensored or push button in order to avoid needless disruption at time of few cyclist crossing, and (c) indicate that we could accept Buxton Rd being two way.
  • The meeting confirmed there was no objection in principle to a zebra link from the floating bus stops on Stratford High St to the pavement but considered that further information should be sought as to their width and their lighting.
  • Straford gyratory consultations are taking place on datesand at venues found in this link, and are important. As we have been very closely involved in the development of theplan it is good. Olawale explained that it would be helpful if as many as possible went to the consultations to give vocal support in principle, in the light of thecurrent organised opposition taking place, especially in central London, to cycle schemes. Information on where opposition was likely to arise would be useful. The outstanding points that can be made are (a) phasing of lights should not discriminate against cyclist as on CS2 (b) there should be coherence with other schemes especially Maryland and “the Leyton ladder” route to Leyton (c) steps should be taken to stop rat running in surrounding areas, and (d) the footpath between Station Rd and the DLR should be shared. If there are individual questions on this scheme please get in touch.

As a matter of general principle it was suggested that in consultation we repeat our established view on schemes and press for illustrative drawingswhen these are not supplied as part of the consultation.

And there was even a short time for some AOBs:

  • Olawale will share the slides from the recent PASTA event.
  • Individuals encouraged to support cycling consultations even if out of Borough, such as Tavistock Place. A positive approach was needed to counteract organised opposition.
  • Ken suggested providing a core briefing on cycle issues to Councillors and reported that Lyn Brown MP had been persuaded that the use of buses to transport bikes through the proposed Silvertown Tunnel was a poor idea.
  • We should emphasise the role of cycling in improving air quality.
  • TfL moving to the Stratford International Quarter provided an opportunity.

Arnold

 

Readout from 27 June Meeting

The meeting focused on infrastructure as Richard, Newham Council’s Sustainable Transport Officer kindly provided an update.  The key  features are:

  • Richard explained how “LIP” funding provided to local authorities by TfL for relatively minor transport improvements work.  We are currently in the final year of a three year phase which has seen a number of improvements, not least based on the 2014 “Ward audit” Newham cyclists undertook with Richard.  Richard explained how a series of contraflows, drop kerbs and point closures  were being brought forward in a coherent way to promote  permeability in urban Newham.  Soft measures such as cycle training and work with schools  had been more successful than might have been anticipated.  The current funding may be rolled out for a further year before the next three year cycle.
  • Newham Councillors have rejected a plan for Forest Gate which (in response to strong calls from consultation) included some segregated cycle lane.   Whilst we were critical of the details of the plan this is a disappointing affirmation of how far behind Newham Councillors are in promoting cycling. Improvements    are funded by Crossrail so will go ahead, but their nature is not now known.  We will continue to keep an eye and press for improvements that benefit cyclists.
  • The Maryland Crossrail improvement plans have yet to be put out for consultation.  It is important that these are coherent with the Stratford Gyratory .
  •  Improvements to the Greenway are progressing, including lighting and some extra ramps (e.g. to Memorial Park and Newham Hospital ).  One new ramp has passed the design stage which will promote useful connectivity with the Channelsea Path (although a vital toucan crossing of Rick Roberts Way is not yet funded).
  • Redbridge Council are pressing hard for a Roding Crossing to Ilford north of the Romford Rd.  This would increase the importance of utilising the current pathway between the City of London Cemetery and the railway line which is currently unusable for cycling.
  • A cycle lane is being put into Jenkins Lane as part of CS3 improvements.
  • Implementing the Silvertown Way planned improvements are partly funded and therefore likely to start (with the active support of the local councillors).  This is important as cycle facilities need to be put in place before the Silvertown Tunnel attracts more traffic into this part of Newham.
  • The scrapyard blocking the completion of the Leaway between Cody Dock and Canning Town is reported to have found an alternative site.  The timing of any move is not known.
  • On street cycle parking shelters are now being installed and well used.  Request from groups of neighbours would be welcome.

We will have a stall at the Forest Gate Festival on 16 July, but more volunteers to do a shift would be welcome.  We will also try to promote cycling at a St Paul’s (East Ham) Street Party on 13 August.  if you can help and have not already volunteered for either of these events please contact me.

The Essex Lanes ride of the previous day was proclaimed a great success.

Next meeting 25 July – probably linked to an evening ride.

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.