Readout from Meeting of 27 March

A rather more select band of attendees than usual, but enough for lively discussion.

  • Suzannah Walker from the Beckton and Royal Docks Neighbourhood Team came to discuss possibilities to increase cycling in that area of the borough  which benefits from some quiet and off road routes.  Ideas centres on adjusting some Newham Rides later in the year, leading bespoke “Tour of Beckton” rides and bringing the market stall to an event.
  • We discussed the TfL consultation for the Bow area, for which Olawale will be preparing a collective response by the deadline of 23 April, but individual responses are also encouraged.
  • Rides coming up – April 9, Kent Coast is attracting outside interest.  The Bike from Boleyn Ride on 22 April is gaining momentum.  Any further volunteers for marshalling this will be most welcome – contact me.
  • Our  approach for a meeting with Councillors Clark and Murphy, who now have responsibility for cycling infrastructure had a speedy positive response from Councillor Murphy.  If such a meeting takes place, as is likely, it will give us a chance to raise some high level issues such as the Borough cycle Strategy, our vision, the need for sustainable transport “planning gain”, the Silvertown Tunnel .
  • Westfield have put in a planning application to LLDC for expansion – partly using space now occupied by a car park. . The sustainable transport options and opportunities will need to be pressed.
  • Other upcoming events:  Kerena is proposing to lead a ride to the “Leading our Lives” sponsored ride at Redbridge Cycling Centre on Good Friday.  A Cyclotopia event will be taking place at the Velodrome on 11 June- providing access to various activities at various fees.  There are a series of events relating to the Lea Valley which look interesting.
  • Meeting with Councillors Tripp and Akiwowo re Maryland fixed for 5 April.  Anyone interested in attending contact me for details.   [Since the meeting we have also had an invite from Council Officials to discuss, at short notice, both the Stratford Gyratory and Maryland.]
  •  Last month there was some interest in providing a rota to help with the cycling aspects of a young persons project in the Arc in the Park, Hermit Road Park each Saturday.  We decided to pursue this by taking a look one Saturday to see what was involved.  Again if you think you might be interest get in touch with me and I can include you in the correspondence.
  • The arrangements for the Annual Meeting on 24 April are progressing.

Arnold

Updated details on the Kent Coast ride

We meet at 9am on Sunday 09/04, to catch the 09.30 train to Canterbury and the 17.00 return from Ramsgate (not Minster).  The cost of a return to Ramsgate is £40.30, but this will be reduced by 1/3rd (£26.60) with group discount or railcard.

The Crab and Winkle way does have a few stoney sections, therefore road bikes are not recommended, but it is largely traffic free. On a (hopefully sunny) Sunday there may also be a few short lengths by beach huts etc where pushing might be advisable.

 

Readout From 27 February Meeting

  • We started with a presentation from Paula Blake from the charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve which helps young people from the Arc in the Park in Hermit Road Park.  They are funded for, and gearing up to run, a cycle club on Saturdays aimed especially at those with disabilities.  They are looking for cycle-interested volunteers to help their employed sessional workers.  No special cycling qualifications are needed.  This sounded an interesting and worthwhile project and on initial soundings it looked like it might be possible to get a rota of interested helpers from Newham Cyclists.

If you would be interested in joining such a rota please let me know and I can provide more details.

This charity also has places on the Ride 100 available.  Again, if you are interested please contact me.

  • There was a report back from those who went on the Greenway inspection ride with the sustainable Transport Office from newham council on 24 February.  This was a worthwhile exercise.  It seems some gates will be removed as lighting and CCTV is installed and 24 hour opening is likely to come to the stretch between Upper St and Stratford High St.  Work on a ramp providing a link to the Channelsea Path (and Stratford Town Centre) has started.  Some remedial work was identified as were instances of bad planning of the works (e.g. gates being painted which were about to be removed)  It does not look like the section of the Greenway between the Stratford High St and the View Tube will be open until at least 2020.

Problems to look out for: vents set in the path which are awkward for bikes, misaligned “cycle tiles”, school parking at Brampton Manor (which also blocks ambulance access to Newham Hospital!), chicanes and 24 hour opening along the whole length.

  • We discussed the draft plans for Maryland Crossrail “improvements” which were very poor and if anything made the area worse for cyclists. Various suggestions immediately emerged to provide benefits from cyclists.  Olawale will gather these and make an alternative plan which can be put to interested  Councillors.  Please look at the plan and send in your suggested improvements in order to help compile an alternative, more cycle friendly proposal.
  • There has been a cabinet reshuffle in Newham which has seen anti-cycling Councillor Corbett no longer responsible for transport infrastructure.  We decided to approach the new  Cabinet member responsible for cycling.
  • We decided to examine the possibility of holding our annual meeting at the (re-opening) View Tube.
  • The grant application for the monthly market stall in Forest Gate has been made but may take a few weeks to process.  In the meantime we decided to run a pilot a session on 11 March.

  • We are compiling a list of marshals for the big Bike from Boleyn Ride on 22 April. If you can help please let me know.

  • Westfield Bike user Group are holding an event on 2 June – details are still to be confirmed, but we have been asked if we would like to take part in some way.
  • The transition to the new website is progressing.
  • Some of our members are taking part in Spin for SmartWorks this week – raising money for SmartWorks by cycling 500 miles.
  • Also aiming to cycle 500 miles is the Leading Our Lives youth group.  They are looking for some cyclists to come along on Good Friday (14th April) to Redbridge Cycling Centre to help them clock up the miles.  Please contact Kerena for details if you’d like to help out and be able to feel righteous about all the Easter Eggs you eat on Sunday!

    Arnold

 

 

Start of 2017 Miscellany

Quiz Night

Newham cyclists are fielding (at least) one table for the Bike From Boleyn Group’s Quiznight on Friday 13 January at 7.30pm at West Ham Supporters Club, Castle St.  This is essentially a fundraiser but two prizes already secured are two taster sessions at the Velodrome and tea for two at the House of Commons.

If you would like to come along please do.  It would assist if you let me know in advance.

Our Next Meeting …

will be at Coffee7, Forest Gate, at 7.30pm (note the new time) on 30 January.

Rides

Steve’s  Ride  to Greenstead is scheduled for 15 January.

Workshop Space

We are looking into having some kind of workshop – probably at Forest Gate market.  Plans still at an early stage.

Infrastucture

  • We have lodged objections to the conversion of Bridge H14  in the Olympic Park to vehicular traffic (7/12/16).
  • We made representations in respect of a traffic scheme for roads off High St North in Manor Park.
  • We have been receiving plans for the Tower Hamlets section of the proposed Quietway 6 (from Victoria Park to Fairlop).  They are not good, unfortunately.
  • Just before Christmas three of us had one of the regular catch up meetings with Newham Council’s Sustainable Transport Officer.  As usual Richard was open and informative.

    Headlines:- The ramp at Twelve Trees Crescent is now open making it much easier to get from Three Mills to Cody Dock along the Lea Pathway.  However the completion of the path from Canning Town is now so delayed that an (unsatisfactory) cycle diversion is being signposted.

    – The Greenway improvements (Quietway 2.1) comprising lighting, longer opening, some resurfacing, more ramps, some targeted training- are beginning to be put in place.  This will be complemented by the long awaited examination of these sequencing of the lights at the A13 flyover.  These improvements will provide a key artery for cycling through Newham.

    – Some improvements to Quietway 6 through north Newham are  being put in place, but there remain some critical uncertainties over key junctions crossing at Leyton Rd, Leytonstone Rd and Woodgrange Rd.  Astonishingly the Council have recently introduced pavement parking for vehicles in Cemetery Rd.

    -The Council are planning to extend cycle improvements from Silvertown Way (delayed further whilst more remodelling is done for TfL) along North Woolwich Rd.

    – Stratford Gyratory work is envisaged to start in August 2017.

    – Some improvements to CS3 designed to improve access to Barking could bring cycle benefits to Jenkins Lane.  The cycle parking under the Westfield bridge is well used, but closed between midnight and 5.00am.

    – We have been provided with an early draft of a long awaited Cycle Strategy for Newham. It includes an assessment of the main  routes through Newham (which are mostly very sub-standard) and an interesting factual introduction:  Cycling has increased as a share of travel in recent years but the  biggest increase has been on public transport (buses), whilst motor vehicle use and walking has declined;  less than half the households in Newham own a car.
    A new chart of ongoing infrastructure issues in the light of this meeting is available on our website.
    Please get in touch if you would like any further information.

East London Brewery Ride 5 November 2016

We all knew that this ride would not be dry, despite the weather forecast. The day started cold and cloudy as we met at the Viewtube base camp for the much previewed brewery ride. The idea for this ride came from and article in the London Cyclist magazine a few months before. They had suggested a tour of six taprooms and microbreweries in east London. However our own resident expert, Bill, had discovered that there were approximately 20 breweries in east London, some in pubs, some with taprooms and some without, and we could therefore improve on this small sample. Although it was ambitious to cover all twenty breweries, we decided to limit the stops to three, Howling Hops, I Mile End and Wild Card.

We set off at 12:15 and it was not long before we alighted on the first stop in Hackney Wick. After the first sample we left just as West Ham fans were arriving for the home match against Stoke. We crossed into Victoria Park where we found the first brewpub. Through the park and into Bethnal Green we were tempted to stop at Redchurch with it’s cosy bar, however we were on a schedule and so had to limit our trade to offsales. Down Cambridge Heath Road to 1 Mile End and stop number two. This gorgeous pub is located in Whitechapel, adjacent to the Blind Beggar and the old Watney Manns brewery, and we had a group photo with no bikes and no beer, strange.

Newham Cyclists gather outside the White Hart pub
Outside The White Hart (Photo courtesy Robin Stephenson)

Then back to the Bethnal Green Working Mans Club which houses the Three Sods brewery. Continuing north though the back streets to Hackney Central, where we found the Cock brewpub and identified two other breweries nearby. The tour relentlessly tracked north along the Lea towpath to the Beavertown brewery in Tottenham Hale. Despite a rather inauspicious location, on an industrial estate, and the near freezing temperatures the place was packed with people sitting both inside and outside eating and drinking. This beer must be good, they certainly have some excellent artwork. But, we had only one more stop and it wasn’t here, so we pressed on through Waltham Forest to another quite unique little industrial estate with two breweries, a gin house and God’s Own Junkyard, which is difficult to describe and impossible to classify. After supping the Wild Card we returned, utilising the superior mini Holland roads, to Stratford, where we had planned to end the ride at the only Newham brewery taproom, Tap East. However we were late and as we approached the Westfield centre, we could see crowds of WHU fans pouring through the streets around the station on their way home. So we tactically ended the ride on Victory Way

Thanks to Bill for his comprehensive research, more details are on the Newham Cyclists website and also to Robin, whose photos provide and excellent record of this unusual day out.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rsstephenson/sets/72157672535706514/

Steve

FreeCycle of 30 July 2016

Newham Cyclists led a feeder ride of 71  from Stratford (Meridian Square) down Cycle Superhighway 2 to Leadenhall to join the excellent 8 mile FreeCycle route of closed roads in central London.  Our group comprised a whole range of different cyclists, from a small child in a trailer and a complete newcomer to cycling, to regular commuters and some warming up for the Surrey Hills ride the following day.

Here is a picture of our excellent ride leader Steve giving the briefing at the start…

Freecycle 2016 start

And one of the team of trained marshalls…

Freecycle marshalls 2016

And this is proof that we made it happily to the Walkie Talkie in Leadenhall St….

Freecycle 2016

A smaller band gathered for the return journey, and were safely guided back to Stratford, subject only to one puncture at the beginning which Dr Bike in Leadenhall swiftly fixed.

A joyous day of cycling.

Message from Newham Green Party

From Rachel Collinson of the Newham Green Party:

“On a leaflet distributed to every resident in Forest Gate North ward in Newham, in advance of the local by-election, the Green Party mentioned that our candidate Elisabeth Whitebread was endorsed by Kerena Fussell of Newham Cyclists. While Kerena does endorse our candidate in a personal capacity, Newham Cyclists are in no way affiliated with the Green Party and remain neutral in this election, as they do in all elections. This was a mistake on the part of Newham Green Party.”

Newham Ride and Greenway Consultation

Under the intrepid leadership of Bill the hardy crew of Newham set out in poor looking weather for the third Newham Ride of the 2016 calendar.  Taking in the Lea Valley and the Isle of Dogs we crossed into Greenwich and followed the river round to the cable car.  As this photo shows the weather did not improve south of the river.

 

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A return to Newham via the cable car did at least see the rain stop and we made it back to Stratford via the (now open to Stratford High St)  Greenway.

The next ride is Essex Lanes on 26 June and our last scheduled Newham ride is 10 July.

Important: Please respond to the consultation on extending the lighting of the Greenway as a move towards creating a proper Quietway along its length.
https://www.newham.gov.uk/Pages/ServiceChild/Cycling-routes-consultation.aspx

The closing date is 17 June.

Arnold

May Meeting: Tour of Waltham Forest Mini-Holland

May 23 saw us start out from Forest Gate to look at progress on Waltham Forest’s mini-Holland project.  It was a real revelation.

We met  Paul Gasson at Leyton for his expert guidance.   There we saw the first manifestation – the Brompton hire box opposite the secure cycle parting at Leyton :

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He explained that most of the project had now been designed and consultation was in play.  About one-quarter had been put in place.  TfL had provided £37m but the Council had found a further £17m much of it from developers (in contrast Newham Council seems to have a self- denying ordinance against seeking money for cycle infrastructre from developers); and had backed this by strong political impetus and some expert engineers/designers who were keen to get the infrastuctre in place and prepared to change it if it did not work.

We went from Leyton to Ruckholt Rd and made our way up the Lea Valley where there is planned to be a segregated track/quietway route building on existing infrastructure:

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A key element of the project is a Superhighway along Lea Bridge Rd.  A small part is in place near the Ice Skating centre and foreshadows something of high quality which will take about a year to put into place.

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Here we also got our first glimpse of the new Lea Bridge station and its recently installed secure cycle parking:

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Another key element of the project is “villagisation” i.e. creating four areas without through traffic.  This is key to promoting the project as being as much a public realm benefit as a cycling benefit.  The first such area put in place was Walthamstow village; but we passed through first the recently installed point closures in Blackhorse “village”.  The “villages” are to be complemented by safe routes across heavily trafficked routes along their borders, such as this tiger crossing (of the sort we should see along our Quietway 6):

IMG_2105.:

We ended up at Walthamstow Village, where  point closures had been used to create mini squares:

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Time prevented us seeing Walthamstow town centre (for which a cycle hub is planned) and routes to Chingford.  But what we saw was impressive and a testimony of what can be done with some political will.

Thanks to Bill for the photos

 

Arnold