November News Headlines

Bicycle

It has been an eventful time.

On 22 October a group from Hackney , Newham, Tower Hamlets and LCC headquarters carried out a ride around the Olympic Park and Westfield. A depressing exercise which confirmed the points we have been making throughout the planning process: the cycle provision could be much better; it rarely improves on the minimum laid down in planning guidance; and at times fails even to meet even these standards. Unfortunately the obduracy or Westfield and the complacency of the Olympic Delivery Authority (now transformed into the London Legacy Development Corporation) will result unnecessary expenditure of further public money bringing these brand new area up to standard. it should not have happened.

On 27 October we ran our last ride before the winter sets in – a leisurely and mostly off road ride to the RSPB site at Rainham Marsh and then up the Ingrebourne Valley to Upminister. The weather was pleasant and even the stiff breeze seemed to give us a helping hand whatever direction we cycled. We are now planning our rides for 2014.

The CS2 extension along Stratford High Street has opened (although has not yet been completed). Not perfect but one of the better cycle provisions in London. This progress was sadly marred by the tragic death of another cyclist at TfL’s ill thought through scheme at the Bow Flyover. On 15 November a group from LCC headquarters and ourselves made a post implementation study. The results will feed into our ongoing discussions with Newham Council on its excellent mini-Holland bid (for TFL funding to transform cycling in pilot areas of outer London) and no doubt into the wider Cycle Superhighway upgrading proposals.

In connection with mini-Holland bid we carried out a ride with the Council to study possible routes between Canning Town and Stratford. Whilst the crossing the District and C2C railway lines represents a real problem, the exercise demonstrated the huge potential for permeability in urban Newham – which is a key element of the bid.

We have further provided input into cycle schemes provided for Henniker Rd and Oxford Rd, Stratford; these received a sympathetic reception. We also opposed extending parking on the pavement in Katherine Road, East Ham and have been told this scheme has been abandoned.

It is evident that Newham Council, with its new approach to cycling, is working hard on the details of its mini-Holland bid. We wait in hope as success carries the prospect of transforming cycling in Newham.