Recent February News

This is a news update since our last meeting.

    • Our representations for cycle contraflow for Cramner and Sandringham Rds one way schemes have been agreed in principle and have been fed into the system.  This element of the scheme will need to be republished and re-consulted, which will take some time.
  • Ward by ward audits are progressing.  Most of the north of the borough has been covered and priority minor schemes for increased permeability have been identified. The work done may be consolidated in a daylong workshop to prioritise the use of the available funding, the exact amount of which should become clear after the mini-Holland outcome is known.
  • The Mini-Holland outcome should be known by mid-March.  Fingers still crossed.
  • Our annual meeting will take place on 31 March 2014 at CoffeE7.  It will be mostly a social/celebration.  Light catering will be provided.  Councillor Christie, who has done so much to progress cycling in the Borough, has been invited.  On the formal side we have to elect officers.  For the last few years we have not filled all the posts so volunteers/nominations are very welcome.  To me at any time before the meeting.
  • The (almost) one million pounds awarded to Newham by TfL to promote the mayor’s vision for cycling will be used primarily for cycle parking and cycle training, and also to develop a Borough cycle strategy.
  • I have received a consultation on the extension of the Stratford NE controlled Parking Zone.  I could identify no particular cycling issues, but if anyone would like to see it please let me know.
  • I have also received a consultation to add Helena Rd Plaistow to the 20mph region around Plaistow.  We have commented on this to urge the inclusion of Upper St.  It is also re-enacting most of the one way systems in the area.  In line with our policy of pressing for cycle contraflows I suggest responding that in re-enacting the one ways provision should be made for cycle contraflows.  Comments welcome.
  • Finally, don’t forget the Newham Ride on 15 March starting 10.00am at the ViewTube.

February 2014 Meeting

Another excellent meeting.

 General news:
  • CS2:  the LCC post implementation audit of the section completed, which covers the criticisms raised at the January meeting is in the hands of both TfL  and Newham council.  still no news on when the Staratford Broadway section is likely to be completed.  In response to a request from Action and Rights of disabled People in Newham the consensus of the meeting was that there was no significant problem, so far, at the island bus stops.  There was no objection to giving priority to pedestrians at the raised tables but, on the other hand, there may be an advantage in not having priorities by analogy with the idea of shared space found, notably, at Exhibition Rd.
  • This new website was greeted with an acclamation of approval.  Thanks were given to Rob for getting this up an running.
  • The ward audit with Newham Council is due to continue this week and the team of volunteers has expanded.
  • We were given an outline of the plans for improving the Greenway and permeability in the area around the Hospital, New City, Brampton etc. schools including more ramps on the Greenway, permeability in the areas and a north south quiet route from Boundary Lane to the Romford Rd.  This would meet a number of our long standing requests.
  • Our next meeting on 31 March at CoffeE7 will be our annual meeting.  It will be a social occasion and celebration of the progress over the year.  Light catering will be provided.  Watch this space.
Ward asks were discussed.  They need to be formulated into a headline sentence and a description of not more than 100 words.  In the light of our discussions these are my first tentative drafts on which comment (or alterantives) would be most welcome (by 21 Feb please to me – see contacts):
  • Stratford and New Town.  “Support the mini-Holland Proposal to remove Stratford Gyratory and complement it by facilitating safe cycling in Warton Rd, Carpenters Rd and Cam Rd – the Broadway.”  Themes- Liveable Town Centres and  Protected Space for Cycling.  Warton Rd and Carpenters Rd need protected cycle routes.  The Cam Rd access to the important Channelsea Path would be facilitated by two way working on CS2 for which there is room if the redundant barriers were removed.
  • Manor Park.  “Completion of CS2 from Stratford to Ilford according to good continental standards”  Theme- Protected Space for Cycling.  “The completion of CS2 will provide a safe route on a major route linking densely populated areas to a string of town centres and assist cycle commuters. All bus and cycle lanes included in the design should be operational 24 hours.
  • Little Ilford and Wall End.  “Establish a “Lower Roding Way” using opportunities to create a continuous cycle and pedestrian path on the Newham side of the A406″  Theme- Greenways.  There is the opportunity to create a greenway through Little Ilford Park, Barrington Playing Fields and Langdon School linking CS3 to the Romford Road and the Roding Way.  It would also involve improving or bypassing the A406 junction with Barking Rd.  It would link to other Greenways and quietways in and connected to the Newham; and ease the difficulty in cycling north-south and open up a useful connection to the Riverside Opportunity Area.
  • East Ham South.  “Improve the crossing of the A13 at the Greenway to make it more cycle and pedestrian friendly.”  Theme – Greenways.  This junction has cycle provision through a series of toucan lights but they are extremely and unnecessarily adverse. This would improve the linkage to the southern section of the Greenway and also complement the Beckton ward ask.
  • Beckton.  “Improve the Asda roundabout and restore the cycle/and bus lane between there and the A13.”  Theme - Protected Space for Cycling.  The Asda roundabout is cycle unfriendly roundabout made worse by the difficulty crossing traffic leaving Asda.  This needs redesigning and the major desire route to the A13 (and CS3 and the Greenway) northbound along Woolwich Manor Way needs protection which could be given by a  cycle track or a 24 hour bus/cycle lane (effectively restoring the bus lane that has been removed).
  • Canning Town North. “Completion of the Lea Valley Path from Three Mills to the Thames in accordance with the mini-Holland proposals.” Theme - Greenways.  The planning for this work has been inherited from the Thames Gateway Development Corporation and would create a major leisure route and a route linking Canning Town to Stratford.
  • Plaistow South, Plaistow North and Green St West.  “Complete a quietway from the A13 via Brampton Manor Schools and New City Rd to the Romford Rd” Theme –  Safer Routes to Schools.  This route can be carved from existing off road and quiet routes and would link numerous schools and the hospital.
  • East Ham Central.  “Permit cycling both ways on the restricted section of High Street North and improve the junction with Barking Road.  Theme- Liveable Town Centres.  “This is the natural route for cyclists wishing to visit East Ham Town Centre.
  • Forest Gate North and South. [This ask would benefit particularly form further consideration.  The square brackets indicate an extension of the idea to the south of the Romford Road] “Transform Woodgrange Rd  and Woodford Rd [/Upton Lane] from [St Angela’s School/] the  Romford Rd to Wanstead Flats by removing on street car parking, preventing through coaches to Stanstead, enforcing a 20mph limit, and drawing on the example of the Exhibition Rd shared space scheme to  discourage through traffic, and give more priority to pedestrians and cyclists”  Theme- Liveable Town Centres. Removing the onstreet parking will make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists and it would give sight lines from side streets.  Coaches to Stanstead have a perfectly good route via the Lea Interchange.  This scheme would complement other public realm improvements in the pipeline such as Forest Lane and Earlham Grove. The present system encourages through traffic to the environmental degradation of Forest Gate town centre – not least by the adverse phasing of lights at the expense of pedestrians and cyclists.  Shared space will help ensure careful driving at an (adequate and suitable) 20mph speed limit.”

We also discussed a borough-wide ask for the Mayoral election:

  • “Promote cycle safety for children by making a general 20mph speed limit and promote an “every child a cyclist” scheme.  Theme – 20mph.  Newham is ideally suited for 20mph (except for the A12 and A13) as it is mostly narrow residential roads or new development that should be designed with residents in mind.  The present complexity of variable speed limits and the existing anachronisms encourage speeding.  A borough wide 20 mph limit would promote Newham as a place to live rather than a place to drive through, and facilitate enforcement and decluttering. An  enforced 20mph speed limit would be an excellent environment in which to train young people to develop the safe cycling habit.

Arnold

 

 

Meeting with Dutch Transport students

Notes from Lisa, Bill & Olawale on their meeting with a group of Dutch students in London to study the Bow roundabout & cycling in London generally.
DUTCH SCHEME IS BASED ON ‘LIVEABLE CITIES’
  • Based on education, infrastructure and mutual respect.
  • Number of people moving into/returning to live in cities rising compared to 30 yrs ago.
  • Cycling is main way people shop as supermarkets are never more than 1km away from residential areas.
  • Cycling supports local shops and businesses as a result.
  • Netherlands, like UK doesn’t see high rates of cycling within different ethnic groups.
IT TOOK THE DUTCH 35YRS TO GET TO WHERE THEY ARE NOW
  • 1970’s cycling rates in Holland low but death rates (especially amongst children) was high.  As cycling rates increased to around 40% in the 1980/90’s the death rate fell.
  • Dutch now have high rate of cyclists of all ages.
  • Cycling is main form of transport for the majority of Dutch citizens.
  • Most Dutch cyclists don’t have driving licences – license holder numbers have declined.
  • Car ownership in the Netherlands is expensive – taxation/licensing and especially parking.  A Dutch car owner will pay approximately the same amount monthly as a UK car owner does annually.
  • Dutch have financial incentives to encourage cycling – UK cyclists can claim commuter miles against tax.
  • Dutch provide free & secure cycle parking so theft rates of bicycles is low and parking easy.
  • Education and cycling awareness begins at primary level in Holland – children are allowed to cycle on pavements until the age of 6yrs and then they are on the roads.
UK/LONDON CYCLING
  • Discussed how cars are still priority in UK – seen as status symbols/aspirational goal by some – cycling viewed as an activity for children or as ‘poor man’s transport’.
  • Discussed the tensions between London pedestrians, cyclists and drivers and how all needed to be aware and have respect for others using the same space.
  • Mentioned that Highway Code needed to be updated and the way people taught to drive needed to have more emphasis on pedestrian and cyclist  priority.
  • TFL and SUSTRANS should demonstrate cohesion of information/planning policy and education for cyclists and drivers.
  • Need borough to borough cohesion regarding quiet routes and through ways together with reasoned enforcement.
  • Discussed the possibility of introducing some form of ‘presumed liability’ (also known as ‘stricter liability’) in relation to accidents with motorised/non-motorised traffic which is commonplace in most Western European countries.

BOW ROUNDABOUT & POLITICS OF CYCLING

  • Light phasing for cycle lights very short.
  • No provision for safe pedestrian access or through-way.
  • Dutch angle turning points to maximise view for vehicle drivers.
  • Discussed problems with CS2 into city and danger of encouraging novice cyclists onto this ‘safe’ route.
  • Had a lengthy discussion on segregated cycle paths – in Holland cyclists have priority at side road junctions unlike here. This means they can continue their journey without stopping at every side road (as with CS2).  This will need a sea change in attitude –  from motor traffic having priority in Britain to cycling being seen as a form of transport instead of a leisure activity!
  • Discussed the issue of  inadequate cycling provision and reactionary policy making by government – responding to protests such as those organised by LCC last summer (which some of the Dutch students at Bow attended).
  • As politics are reactionary there is no real cohesive London-wide plan from Councils and very little mention of the ecological and health benefits a long-term cycling policy could provide.
  • Discussed that LCC was the voice of sense and reason and the only real power that cyclists had to influence government policy.
  • We were also asked if we thought that the Norman Foster designs for an overhead cycling road were practical, desirable or a good use of the money assigned for cycling.  It was agreed that the plans were wonderful but far-fetched and would cost more money than was available – the money  could be put to far better use by fixing major junctions and trouble spots throughout London, Bow included.

Monthly Meeting for February now on 10 February

In order to complete our “ward asks” for the LCC Space for Cycling Campaign by the end of the month we are bringing forward our monthly meeting to 10 February.  This will be the main item on the agenda, but  we can also pick up on  developments from last month’s busy meeting.  We will meet in our usual venue CoffeE7 in Forest Gate at 7.00pm.

Jan 2014 meeting readout

By Arnold Ridout

The majority of the meeting was dedicated to the LCC Space for Cycling campaign with the help of Amy, the LCC Actiism Co-ordinator.

Of the other matters happening:

Newham received the largest grant from the London Boroughs, of almost £1m to promote the Mayor (of London’s) Cycle Vision. This can be used for projects such as cycle parking and training. The Council are to be congratulated for achieving this. We will ask what specific projects they have have in mind.
The Council e awaiting the outcome of its excellent Mini Holland bid following presentation made last week. Fingers are crossed, but even if not successful the bid provides a blueprint for cycle improvements some of which can be funded through other sources.
The Council has taken on board our request for cycle contraflow in Godwin and Sandringham Rds. There remains some technical issues about reconsultation which may affect implementation.
We will respond to a concultation on a 20mph area around Upper St Plaistow. We will make the point that the whole borough should be 20mph (not such a radical objective these days) and the specific point that if the area around Upper St is to be made 20mph the same should apply to Upper St itself.
There were a number of volunteers to host some Dutch students on their visit to the Bow Flyover on Thursday.
We are participating in the Friends of the Greenwich and Woolwich Foot Tunnels Group. It is making headway with improvements.
We discussed the completion of CS2 at the Stratford Broadway end. It was meant to have started by now. I will enquire. There were criticisms of the work that has been done, especially the left hooks at Warton Rd/Carpenters Road/puddling and paint deterioration. These confirm an earlier post implementation audit carried out by LCC, Tower Hamlets and ourselves. I will enquire whether TfL have this.
The website is on its way despite an unavoidable delay. A twitter feed will follow. We decided to set up a new and improved Facebook account.
There was an update on the ward by ward audit for permeability measures. This is intended to identify and prioritise minor measures such as drop kerbs, signage, cycle contraflows and vehicle barriers that would improve the permeability of urban Newham for whihc existing funding on £100,000 pa is avaialble over the next three years. The Council are aiming to complete this exercise by the end of February. Two outings have been undertaken and we have lined up a group of volunteers to continue this exercise.
The first Newham Ride will take place on 15 March. It was thought that there is too long a gap before the next one in June and that a repeat of the Councillor’s ride might be a good idea.
Space for Cycling Campaign

We considered the LCC Space for Cycling Campaign for which we have been asked to identify one “ask” per ward to improve cycling. The ask should follow one of the 6 themes of the campaign.

We progressed on a number of wards and decided to bring forward our February meeting to confirm these and to decide ward asks for other wards. This meeting will take place on Monday 10 February at CoffeE7 (our usual meeting place) at 7.00pm. In the meantime please forward to me any specific cycle projects for your area which you think are important wand which we can consider for a ward ask in the campaign, particularly if it is for a ward not so far covered (see below).

it is clear that Newham is in a special position because many of the Space for cycling themes can be linked to projects found in the miniHolland bid.

Here are the outcomes.

Stratford and New Town Removal of Stratford gyratory as per the mini Holland bid but making the access streets to Stratford town centre more cycle friendly (amongst those raised at the meeting were access fro Cam Rd to the Broadway, Warton and Carpenters Rd. Comment: This accords with the “liveable town centre” theme. If the mini Holland bid is successful, including this as part of the campaign will help ensure local political support and therefore increase the chances of implementation. If that bid is unsuccessful there are many other alternative potential ward asks.

Manor Park and Forest Gate South Completion of Cycle Superhighway 2 from Stratford to Ilford. This accords with the “Protected Space for Cycling” theme and the response to the LCC survey which gave greatest priority to this theme. Again a project which is part of the min-Holland bid but which has lacked political support in the past.

Forest Gate North Removing through traffic from Woodgrange Rd, decluttering it and a 20 mph limit for necessary traffic (for deliveries or access.) Comment: This meets the “20mph” , “liveable town centres” and “roads without through traffic” themes. It is not part of the mini Holland bid. Some funding for improvements to Forest Gate town centre are contemplated from Crossrail environmental improvement money. This will need some working up in order to identify the specific measures that would achieve access only.

East Ham Central Cycle contraflow in the restricted areas of High St North and improvement of the junction with Barking Road. Comment; Accords with the “liveable town centre” and “protected space for cycling” themes.

Wall End Improve Burgess Rd by removing the mini roundabouts, ensuring 20mph along its length and replace the existing square cushion traffic calming humps which encourage speeding traffic to swerve.Comment: This meets the “20mph” theme.

Beckton Improve the Greenway link where it crosses the A13 and the section from that crossing to Gallions Reach. Comment This accords with the “quietways theme”. it could also provide a link to a prospective cycle route up the Roding Valley. Whilst part of the mini Holland bid there is also potential funding for this though a separate Quietways fund. Political support makes implementation more likely.

Canning Town North Complete the Lea Valley Path from Three Mills to the Thames in accordance with the plans originally drawn up by the late Thames Gateway Development Corporation and adopted in the mini Holland bid. This includes at least two crossings of the River Lea. Plus improve access via the Crows Rd bridge (currently closed) Comment Whilst part of the mini Holland bid there is also potential funding for this though a separate Quietways fund. Political support makes implementation more likely.
Arnold

LCC Need a Campaign Organiser from Newham

Happy New Year all.

I have been contacted by Lu at LCC regarding the Campaign Organisers for the 2014 election build up.  They do not yet have any volunteers from Newham and are specifically hoping to recruit a few women (apparently we are in short supply).

If you haven’t already seen the info, please take a look at the details here:

http://lcc.org.uk/articles/london-cycling-campaign-recruiting-volunteer-space-for-cycling-campaign-organisers-for-2014-local-elections

There’s also an article on why one lady is volunteering:

http://lcc.org.uk/articles/a-space-for-cycling-campaign-organiser-explains-why-she-volunteered-to-be-part-our-our-2014-local-election-campaign

There is a training session for volunteers on the 18th January, so if you are interested, please get in touch with LCC before then.

Proposed Traffic orders for Sandringham and Cramner Rds

  • I have received notice from the Council of some new proposed traffic orders.  They y would introduce one way traffic to Sandringham Road and Cramner Rd in Forest Gate.  This appears to be linked to control of the school run becase it is accompanied by additional parking restrictions. I would be happy to forward the details to anyone interested. A response must be submitted by 14 January.   I suggest that, in principle, further one way streets should not be encouraged in residential areas and is also  inconsistent with the aim of permeability in such areas of urban Newham. If there must be one way streets then we should advocate cycle contraflows.   Let me know what you think.Arnold