Essex lanes ride 7th October
Bright sunshine greeted us as we met at Leytonstone station to gather for a group photo before setting off into the wilds of Essex.
We were sixteen strong setting off from Epping station finding the quiet ways through the splendid countryside on a glorious autumnal day. After crossing the busy A414 we followed well maintained and quiet roads.
We saw the house that Steve Marriott, lead singer of the Small Faces, lived and died in and with now has a blue plaque.
The curious story of the two churches of Willingale was another interesting stop en route. Why does this tiny village have two churches to serve the congregation?
We passed the pretty village of Blackmore, a very popular stopping point for cyclists. The lunch stop was the Bricklayers Arms, Stonton Massey, a nice pub although they were overwhelmed to the point that they ran out of baguettes feeding hungry cyclists
On the way back we stopped at Greensted Church which provided another opportunity to share historical stories about this oldest of places, lepers, crusaders, Tollpuddle martyrs and others all feature
The route included the Toot Hill rollercoaster on the way back and the steep, if short, climb up to Epping station
Below is the route and statistics for this ride.
The next ride is the Newham Ride on 11th November, put it in your diary
A substantial gathering of 13 eventually gathered to occupy a corner of the the Golden Fleece. Discussion was, as usual, lively and interesting.
- We started with a presentation by Michael Barratt, TfL’s Development Impact Assessment Manager, who has enormous expertise on alleviating the adverse impact of development works on walkers and cyclists. He was seeking our assistance to apply a “3 Tier Assessment Works Assessment” process, the first tier involving cycling and walking, the area of the proposed works with the contractor and determining the challenges (particularly for those with disabilities and adapted bikes) and the space available to meet them. Tier 2 is to design alleviating measures. Fort his purpose TfL’s Temporary Traffic Management Handbook (currently in draft) is very helpful. Tier 3 is feedback during works.
From the Newham perspective the major current works are at Stratford which is proceeding reasonably well. Michael has assisted us recently in improving this and the more problematic works at Bow Flyover on CS2.
The meeting was receptive to pursuing this for future significant works and we will pick up with our Newham Council contacts how to do this effectively. Most roads in Newham are the borough’s responsibility (as opposed to TfL).
In the meantime any comments on the Stratford works can be sent to our contact e-mail for collation and submission to the responsible Newham Officer.
- Newham are consulting on a “liveable neighbourhood” scheme likely to form the borough’s bid for TfL funding – in the Freemason’s Rd area. There is currently a high level consultation to which we will reply but as usual individual responses would be helpful.
- Richard will be taking forward, with an interested group, the idea of offering councillors bespoke rides with a walking /cycling perspective.
- A proposed letter concerning the QE Olympic Park will be taken forward with LCC HQ and other interested boroughs being invited to participate.
- Newham Cyclists and Newham Living Streets will take forward a letter concerning the cost of parking permits, a draft of which was discussed.
- A busy October in prospect with an Fix your Ride stall on 13th, an Essex lanes Ride on 14th, Bike from Boleyn on 20th, and an AAA bike fixing stall on 27th. Volunteers for stalls always welcome and if you are interested and have not already volunteered please get in touch via the contact e-mail.
Our 24 September monthly meeting will take place at the Golden Fleece Pub, Capel Rd (starting at 7.30pm), in the garden if fine. Please let me know if there are any items you would like on the agenda. Provisionally it will include: forthcoming events; parking and Olympic park letters (follow up to July meeting); Liveable Neighbourhoods (particularly Freemasons Rd); Stratford Gyratory and Bow Flyover Updates; possible Councillor Rides. Our ride calendar for 2019 will be discussed at our October meeting.
Despite the absence of some regulars 20 of us assembled in the Garden of the View Tube Cafe to participate in a lively meeting.
- Bill had sent in a note of the financial position which was a balance of £879.20 thanks in part to donations from the Fix My Ride stall since April of £241.43 (£119.21 from the forest Gate Festival). Some of that will be needed to replenish stocks. Our payment for providing the RideLondon feeder ride from Stratford is to come.
- We discussed the fact that Newham was one of the few London Boroughs to provide free parking for a fist car for households in its in its parking zones. We decided to put together a first draft of a letter to the Mayor, the responsible Cabinet Member and interested Councillors, setting out our view in the context of promoting sustainable transport; and to approach other interested bodies (e.g. Living Streets, Newham CCG) with a view to putting the case jointly.
- Arnold outlined the results of the catch up meeting of 13 July with the Sustainable Transport Officer of Newham Council. This chart provides a summary of the position:
Newham Cyclists Issues of Interest July 2018
and this document (the LIP) sets out planned spending in 2018-19 on various cycle projects intended to be implemented by Newham Council.
LIP PROGRAMME 2018-19 V
Please let me know if you have any comments or questions on either of these documents.
- We intend to be represented on an audit ride of the CS3 extension to Barking being conducted by Newham Council.
- We debriefed on the RideLondon feeder from Stratford. It did have very positive feedback from the participants (74 going and approximately 30 returning). In particular we will examine alternatives to CS2 from Mile End to Aldgate.
- The next Bike from Boleyn ride is sceduled for 20 October. If you would like to help put this in your diaries. There are plans to link it with a street party/festival at the site of the World cup Statue.
- We decided to organise another sequence of bike fixing and rides for the children’s cycle club at Ambition, Aspire, Achieve for September/early October. The feedback on the rides so fr this year has been very positive and those helping have found it very satisfying.
- We brainstormed how Brampton Primary might find some bikes for its bike club and where there might be some old bikes for reconstruction by Pro Bike Service.
- There have been some events on the Greenway organised by Sustrans and Newham Council.he section north of Stratford high St is due to open (at long last) next year. It includes (a) a 4m path (as per the rest of the sections between Wick Lane and Canning Road) with the legacy fencing/concrete blocks that the council is negotiating with LLDC to remove so we can install lighting and CCTV (b) alarge bridge area next to the rail line (c) the possible reopening of the closed City Mill River Path on the north side of the Greenway which would that offeran additional high quality future connection, being more direct to UCL/Stadium Island etc and (d) a ramp, constructed by Crossrail, to Marshgate Lane.Since the meeting I have asked about the overhead lighting in the section of the Greenway north of the View Tube. Apparently they have never worked but there is permission for the power connection which should take place this month.
- Our Canterbury to Ramsgate ride takes place on Sunday 5 August.
- There was a long discussion, based on Jonathan’s Report (below) on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It was clearly disappointing how little regard LLDC had for cycling facilities, how little understanding of what was acceptable and how much it was promoting rat running. Noe of this is particularly surprising given its poor track record. A ray of light is that the Newham Councillors now on the LLDC Planning Committee had an understanding of cycle issues. We decided to draft another letter expressing our concerns and seek to act in partnership with neighbouring borough groups. We would also examine the possibility of putting the QEOP forward as a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in an attempt to halt the current adverse trend.
On the 17 June a goodly crew started off a Newham Ride. from the View Tube.
The unusual feature was that it was anti-clockwise, starting with a run down the Greenway to Beckton.
Then to the Royal Docks via Thames Barrier Park and finishing with a run up the Lea Valley. This way round was intended to maximise coffee stop opportunities and the best times. Once again it proved how the borough is ever changing. Much is new and changing but ther are remnants of post-industial.
On 30 June we led 6 children from the Ambition, Aspire, Achieve Saturday Cycling Club for a ride along the Greenway and around the Olympic Park. A run of 7-8 miles which went a long way to improving their cycle skills. They did brilliantly in the heat.
In his note of thanks Kevin Jenkins, Founder of this Charity observed: “As always the feedback from the children has been nothing but positive. ”
So a good trip for them and a well spent morning for us.
Four Newham Cyclists participated in another cycle round the Stratford works on 4 June with Michael Barratt, TfLs influential Development Development Impacts Manager and Paul Gannon, the Newham Council Officer managing the restructuring project, .
Here is their full Report with the full list of actions, and more (annotated) photos:
Focus on the gyratory works 04 june 18
By way of reminder, the Stratford Gyratory scheme has been generally welcomed by Newham Cyclists. The works already completed give a flavour of the benefits to come.
One of our concerns has been to ensure cyclists remain as safe as possible during the lengthy construction works. The very positive approach by all concerned is helping to achieve this. The engagement of TfL and Newham Council is very welcome.
At present there are two major issues, which are recognised as difficult to avoid at present:
- The closure of the cycle track in the Grove. However Paul indicated that this was planned to open southbound in the next few weeks. Cyclists going northbound can still use the wide shared use pavement up to Great Eastern Street.
- The cycle lane completed in the Broadway westbound can only be used for cyclists turning into Tramway Avenue towards Plaistow. it cannot be used for continuing westbound to Stratford High St.
Otherwise it is necessary to move into the centre lane in order to get to the now open westbound lane outside the Old Town Hall. Please be aware of this if you are going westbound through Stratford to Bow in order to avoid conflict with pedestrians.
Otherwise a series of minor modifications (moving fences, changing the position of signs, covering loose wires etc.) were suggested.
The 4m wide two way cycle track between Angel Lane and The Grove, which is currently under construction may need to be temporarily limited in width at first to prevent the idea arising that this is extra car parking space. Paul is looking for the best way to do this, for example by use of planters or cycle parking. All ideas gratefully received.
The track will still open with a very adequate 3m width and will move to its full 4m when bedded in.
It was also interesting to learn that traffic counts had shown a significant overall decline in motor traffic (evaporation) since the works had started and a significant reduction in speeds – to nearer the 20mph limit. Also, further major development on Stratford High Street between Bridge Street and the Magistrates Court could present another opportunity for improvements for cycling and walking in the area.
The “Over the Hill” group of cyclists from south of the river have become regular participants in our Newham rides and so they were once again tempted to cross the river and try the cake. The weather was fine and warm and travelled at a leisurely pace along the canal towards Enfield lock.
The first part of the ride along the canal is naturally quite flat. Dawes hill is always a test for heart, lungs, and the benefits of ebikes and we approached the forest this way. Riding through Chingford we stopped at the Queen Elizabeth hunting lodge, which was open, and it was easy to imagine Tudor nobles chasing deer through the valley below. Onward to High Beech and through the forest, before negotiating the busy A121, we crossed a lesser known bridge over the M25, down a track and into Upshire and St Thomas’ church. We had lunch in the Horseshoe pub before returning to the church for tea and a mountain of cake.
We rode back sated and probably more slowly, taking an alternative route around High Beech avoiding the hills to the the canal, which led us all the way back to our start point. Unfortunately, as we rejoined the Greenway Roxie’s derailleur got caught in her back wheel. We we almost at the end of the ride and she was able get home and hopefully repair or replace the bike, which I believe is under guarantee.
Coincidentally, I saw my daughter Ellie’s narrow boat along the canal and stopped for a photo with the new tenant
We have led two more rides for AAA’s Saturday children’s cycling club – on 5 May and 2 June.
The first was a jaunt along the Greenway (first braving a traffic jam caused by a funeral in the West Ham Cemetry) and through Three Mills Green. Notably we got a disability bike along the Channelsea Path linking Three Mills to the Greenway.
There was very positive feedback from the eight children participating.
Duly inspired, and with a group of six slightly older children, our second ride ventured from the Greenway along the Lea towpath to the Olympic Park. This gave us a chance to focus more on cycle skills as well as taking some of the children to a part of Newham they had not been to before or had little knowledge of.
A great pleasure and success for them and us.
We are therefore trying to fit another ride in before the summer shut down. If you might be able to help between 10.15 am and 12.45 pm on either Saturday 30 June or Saturday 7 July let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
A goodly band, including a contingent from south of the River, set out without any expectation of avoiding at least one thunderstorm.
In the event we were blessed (as usual) with good weather and those that lasted to the end finished hot, but dry; all without mechanical mishap.
The ride was just over 16 miles around Newham with one small diversion to Trinity Buoy Wharf on the Tower Hamlets side of the mouth of the River Lea.
The intention was to pick up on some of the places of interest missed out in previous local rides. What was remarkable was the scale of development along the Thames, from City Island to Gallions Reach. Indeed the new developments at Thames Barrier Park made it a difficult task to thread our way to the park.
Lets hope Newham ends up with a proper Thameside path!
This was held on 21 May to avoid a bank holiday. In the evening sunshine we took a quick ride around the rat runs of Manor Park, between the Romford Road and East Av/Plashet Grove, either side of High Street North, leaving time for discussion in the garden of the Golden Fleece afterwards.
On Manor Park, Adam suggested how through traffic could be stopped by point road closures leaving groups of streets accessible (each group shown as the same colour on this map):
We decided to-
- discuss the problem and possible solutions with Newham Council’s Sustainable Transport Officer and Newham Living Streets;
- invite ideas for possible solutions. If you have ideas or would like to participate in developing ideas please get in touch, by 10 June, to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org);
- continue to raise awareness of local residents, schools etc;
- inform the new local councillors.
We discussed how to run our Freecycle feeder ride on 28 July. We are looking at a new route. Marshals are needed. If you can help and have not already indicated please let me know on newham.lcc.org.uk again by 10 June.
We were not impressed with the plans for Q6 Temple Mill Lane/Leyton Rd jucntion and will be renewing our objections. It is imperative that the quietways reach an decent quality. otherwise they will waste public money on infrastructure that will not attract cyclists.
We decided to run a programme of Councillor Rides to reinforce with our new Council the potential of and benefits from cycling in Newham.
Out third cycle of bike maintenance and ride with Ambition, Aspire, Achieve goes ahead over teh next two Saturdays.