This is a news update to sight everyone on what is current, before the annual meeting on 31 March.
Sadly Newham’s mini-Holland bidÂ was unsuccessful, but there are positives to come out of the exercise, and Councillor Christie has been in touch to outline these. Â In fact there remains a good chance Newham may get most of what it bid for (albeit through different pots of money). Â For example Stratford gyratory has been listed amongst the junctions for improvement, TfL has committed support for the Leaway (Cody Dock to Canning Town) Â and there is likely to be support for the Greenway improvement and linked quietways. CS2 to Ilford may come from the CS programme.
Disappointingly our request forÂ Upper StÂ to have a 20mph limit was overruled. on the following grounds: Â “Being a bus route and major road link in the borough it was agreed that it was not appropriate to install speed reducing features on Upper Road to bring the speed limit down to 20mph, and that the objection be overruled” Â It is particularly retrograde to treat Upper St as a major through road, which it should be not and does not have to be; and then to use that as an excuse to allow motor vehicles to use it at a dangerous speed. Â Cyclists and pedestrians have to pay for the police and the Council’s unwillingness to enforce traffic rules.
I have been given a design forÂ Carpenter’s RdÂ for when it is opened as a through route. Â This is a key Olympic Park connection route. Â A 20 mph limit is proposed (it is a bus route and a through route which makes Upper St even less understandable). Â It looks like cyclists are being pushed back onto the carriageway from shared paths in the railway tunnel. Â I have sought further clarification.
- The Council have adoptedÂ Honour Lea Avenue. Â This is the key east west cycle route through the Olympic Park for which LLDC left its miserly and minimal cycle facilities – in particular a two way cycle track on only one side of the road. Â Fortunately the Council in this instance recognises that the cycling provision should be better (indeed throughout the Olympic Park and Westfield areas). Â So still lots to play for here. On the bright side, Â the crossing over this River Lea on this route (near the Copper Box) has been left as stairs and a lift. Â This was a matter of constant objection from LCC and it now looks like something better is going to happen.
- Sandringham Rd and Cramner RdÂ cycle contraflows, as request by us, Â are now going to be put in place (albeit later than the one introduction of the one-way schemes).
TheÂ “No to Sivertown Tunnel”Â have campaign have written to seek support, financial or otherwise.
The first of this year’sÂ Newham RidesÂ had a good turnout this Saturday and excellent weather.
This will take place at 7.00pm at CoffeE7. Â See events page for details.
In celebration of International Women’s Day LCC will be linking to blogs from women talking about LCC and their ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign. They’ve kindly asked if I’d like to participate so here goes!
Hmmm, maybe a bit of background about me first. My name is Lisa and I’m a gardener based in Forest Gate. I can usually be seen trundling my kit up and down the local streets in a shopping trolley with red roses stuck to the front. My sister-in-law’s nickname for me is ‘born too late’ as my heart resides in the 1940’s, hence my business being called London Land Girl. As far as my cycling style is concerned that also seems to be stuck in the 1940’s. I’m a heel wearing, no helmet, anti-Lycra, no to hi-viz kind of girl.
I started cycling again in 2008 as I suppose like many adults I hadn’t been on a bike since I was a kid. At the age of 7 I can remember being very proud of my brand new, shiny, bright red Chopper bike and riding it round and around the square of grass outside our flat in Bethnal Green – no particular place to go and for no other reason than I could and because it gave me such great joy to do so! Today the joy’s still there but the bike is not so shiny or new as I’m riding a 38yr old Elswick Hopper Safeway. Still bright red though!
For me LCC’s ‘Space for Cycling’ campaign is about sharing that childhood joy with as many people as possible by fostering a society of competent and confident cyclists and ensuring they have a secure environment in which to pursue that joy. Hopefully the provision of safe integrated cycling in our towns and cities will not only improve the overall environment of town centres (benefitting everyone not just cyclists) but also relieve the tensions that exist between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, of which I’m fully aware as I am a cyclist, pedestrian and car owner all rolled into one.
For me not being a member of LCC is pure madness for anyone who cycles – why wouldn’t you want to be part of an organisation that’s fighting your corner for you?
LCC is the voice of reason in a sea of nonsensical and contradictory legislation so join up today -Â your cyclists need you!
This is good news, via LCC today
Another excellent meeting.
Â General news:
- CS2: Â 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 Â and Newham council. Â still no news on when the Staratford Broadway section is likely to be completed. Â 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. Â There was no objection to giving priority to pedestrians at the raised tables but, onÂ theÂ otherÂ 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. Â 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. Â This would meet a number of our long standing requests.
- Our next meeting on 31 March at CoffeE7 will be our annual meeting. Â It will be a social occasion and celebration of the progress over the year. Â Light catering will be provided. Â Watch this space.
Ward asks were discussed. Â They need to be formulated into a headline sentence and a description of not more than 100 words. Â 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. Â “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.” Â Themes- Liveable Town Centres and Â Protected Space for Cycling. Â Warton Rd and Carpenters Rd need protected cycle routes. Â 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.Â Â “Completion of CS2 from Stratford to Ilford according to good continental standards” Â Theme- Protected Space for Cycling. Â “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.Â “Establish a “Lower Roding Way” using opportunities to create a continuous cycle and pedestrian path on the Newham side of the A406″ Â Theme- Greenways. Â There is the opportunity to create a greenway through Little IlfordÂ Park, Barrington Playing Fields and Langdon School linking CS3 to the Romford Road and the Roding Way. Â It would also involve improving or bypassing the A406 junction with Barking Rd. Â 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. Â “Improve the crossing of the A13 at the Greenway to make it more cycle and pedestrian friendly.” Â Theme – Greenways. Â 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.Â Â “Improve the Asda roundabout and restore the cycle/and bus lane between there and the A13.” Â Theme -Â Protected Space for Cycling. Â The Asda roundabout is cycle unfriendly roundabout made worse by the difficulty crossing traffic leaving Asda. Â ThisÂ 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 Â cycle track or a 24 hour bus/cycle lane (effectively restoring the bus lane that has been removed).
- Canning Town North.Â “Completion of the Lea Valley Path from Three Mills to the Thames in accordance with the mini-Holland proposals.” Theme -Â Greenways. Â 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. Â “Complete a quietway from the A13 via Brampton Manor Schools and New City Rd to the Romford Rd” Theme – Â Safer Routes to Schools. Â This route can be carved from existing off road and quiet routes and would link numerous schools and the hospital.
- East Ham Central. Â “Permit cycling both ways on the restricted section of High Street North and improve the junction with Barking Road. Â Theme- Liveable Town Centres. Â “This is the natural route for cyclists wishing to visit East Ham Town Centre.
- Forest Gate North and South.Â [This ask would benefit particularly form further consideration. Â The square brackets indicate an extension of the idea to the south of the Romford Road]Â “Transform Woodgrange Rd Â and Woodford Rd [/Upton Lane] from [St Angela’s School/] the Â 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 Â discourage through traffic, and give more priority to pedestrians and cyclists” Â Theme-Â Liveable Town Centres. Removing the onstreet parking will make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists and it would give sight lines from side streets. Â Coaches to Stanstead have a perfectly good route via the Lea Interchange. Â 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. Â Shared space will help ensure careful driving at an (adequate and suitable) 20mph speed limit.”
We also discussed aÂ borough-wide askÂ for theÂ Mayoral election:
- “Promote cycle safety for children by making a general 20mph speed limit and promote an “every child a cyclist” scheme. Â Theme – 20mph. Â 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. Â The present complexity of variable speed limits and the existing anachronisms encourage speeding. Â 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 Â enforced 20mph speed limit would be an excellent environment in which to train young people to develop the safe cycling habit.
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 onÂ 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. Â 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 cyclistsÂ don’tÂ have driving licences – license holder numbers have declined.
- Car ownership in the Netherlands is expensive – taxation/licensing andÂ especiallyÂ parking. Â 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.
- 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 Â 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 ofÂ â€˜presumed liabilityâ€™ (also known as â€˜stricter liabilityâ€™) 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). Â This will need a sea change in attitude – Â 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 Â 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,Â desirable or a good use of the money assigned for cycling. Â It was agreed that the plans were wonderful but far-fetched and would cost more money than was available – the money Â could be put to far better use by fixing major junctions and trouble spots throughout London, Bow included.
Great idea to get people cycling rather than driving during the upcoming tube strikes!
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. Â This will be the main item on the agenda, but Â we can also pick up on Â developments from last month’s busy meeting. Â We will meet in our usual venue CoffeE7 in Forest Gate at 7.00pm.