Readout from February Meeting

Well attended and lively as usual.  There is still a lot going on – much is positive.

  • We discussed the latest TfL consultation on Bow Flyover for pedestrian improvements – see the earlier post.
  • We discussed the recent Greenway diversion.  Whilst it is disappointing that the shorter diversion using Canning Rd was not chosen, there are some improvements to the chosen route planned for the immediate future: signage throughout,  improving the crossing of Manor Rd into  Leywick St and opening up more the pathway near Abbey Rd DLR.  The latter two are in any event  “ward audit” improvements.  It is heartening to see the efforts put into the ward audit bearing fruit.
  • We decided to object to Council plans for the Upton Corridor (i.e. Upton lane between West Ham Park and Romford Rd) on the grounds that the improvements (extra zebra crossings, raised table on side roads, removal of staggered crossings) needed to be accompanied by a 20 mph speed limit.
  • We agreed the general thrust of our vision for Stratford gyratory (see post of 22 February) which when it has received its final tweaking will be distributed to neighbouring boroughs, Councillors and LCC.  TfL are presently indicating a finishing date of 2019 for this project.  We raised the issue of how long the current Windmill Lane diversion was due to last.
  • Quietways news: (1) Newham Council is waiting to hear from TfL which of the planned second tranche of quietways in the borough (the northern quietway was in the first batch); (2) a pilot of delimiting solar lighting is being trialled on the Greenway around Upper St, although the Council’s aspiration is for high quality lighting along its whole length; (3) the Roding Way study is progressing.
  • Olympic Park news:  (1) we are attending, with the LCC campaigns manager,  a meeting on 4 March with LLDC, which has been responsible for the current substandard cycling provision; (2) consultants hired by the Council have already made some cycle friendly recommendations for Westfield Ave/Montfichet Rd.  The study is being extended to a broader area around Westfield where the cycle provision is shameful; (3) Northwall (formerly the Northern Loop Road) is currently redundant and closed but was identified as a potential leisure cycling asset; (4) we are in discussion with Waltham Forest Cyclists concerning improvements to the northern section of Temple Mills Lane to Ruckholt Rd (which is due for improvement under their mini-Holland scheme.  Temple Mills lane east has no been made a permanent bus/cyclist only link but there is room for improvement to remove conflicts with buses.
  • We agreed to have a talk at our next meeting about CLOS (Cycle Level Of Service) – a system for evaluating how cycle friendly a street/area is.  It is now becoming widely used (including by TfL and Newham Council)and is regarded as a good tool by the LCC.  We will have some serious training for those interested in the spring.
  • We agreed to submit observations on the Newham Local Plan and Statement suggesting some further cycle and pedestrian quietways which Newham should as a matter of planning policy protect for future development.
  • We decided to develop this website to have a (moderated) comments facility.
  • Our annual meeting on 30 March 2015 at Coffee E7 at 7.00p will include a light buffet.  If you have any nominations for posts (Co-ordinator, Secretary, Treasurer)  please lodge them via the contact details on this site.
  • Our first two rides for 2015 will be 22 March up the Lea Valley to Ware, and a Newham Ride on 4 April. See the events calendar.  The rest of the programme will now be put on the calendar.
  • The Council have prepared some good plans for the Silvertown Way/Canning Town area.

If you would like further details on any of these items please get in touch through the contact details on this site.

Phew

Newham Council and Cycle Superhighway 2

As long ago as 31 July 2103 Councillor Conor Mcauley, then Executive Member for Regeneration,  trumpeted in the Newham Recorder “Our vision is for Newham’s streets to be made more accessible for cyclists” and called for more of the Cycle Superhighway type of infrastructure in Newham.  He ended “We’ll keep lobbying TfL to do their bit and deliver a cycle hire scheme and a cycling network that will benefit all.”  This looked like a change of approach from the Council that had previously blocked Cycle Superhighway 2 through Newham. Completing CS2 to Ilford is one of Newham Cyclists Space for Cycling suggestions to which Councillor Patel of Manor Park signed up.  It was included in Newham Council’s mini-Holland bid, but this was unsuccessful.  Since then  we have seen  no sign that Newham Council has pressed for this and it now appears to be dropped from TfL’s Cycle superhighway programme.

This unsurprising  outcome is compounded by Newham Council’s approach to the existing CS2.  It has secured the removal of a key section providing protection for cyclists from being “left hooked” at the junction of Broadway and Tramway Avenue, leaving the current dogs breakfast, which needs a plethora of signs addressed to both drivers and cyclists to be careful. This change was demanded in the face of a safety audit that confirmed that this change made this junction more dangerous for cyclists.  The reason? As the Council eventually admitted, this was to accomodate “driver misbehaviour”.

On 17 September 2014 Councillor Corbett  told the Recorder “The Council has made clear to TfL the urgent need to fully address all safety issues at this location and review the design proposals,” he said. “This should be done in conjunction with key stakeholders such as the council, police, emergency services and cycling groups.”

” We will return to install the final, agreed design later this year once the local development works are fully completed, and remain committed to provide safe cycling infrastructure across London.”

There has been no change to this unction, made more dangerous for cyclists by the actions of Newham Council itself.

 

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On 3 December 2014  a spokeswoman for the Council misleadingly told the Recorder that the removal was at the behest of TfL, wrongly said that the Council only closed the risky sliproad (which is still open) and that the changes were done following unspecified “concerns” raised by the police and cyclists. The Council have  now admitted  that these “concerns”  were expressed by three cyclists who happened to randomly stop when Council officials were looking at the junction, but they have still to reveal the nature of these “concerns” despite two freedom of Information requests concerning this junction.  There is no indication that these cyclists preferred the current situation to the protection provided by the CS2 with its “wands” i.e. the latest version provided by TfL.

At no time were Newham Cyclists consulted despite the latest in a series of claims that ” We value the views of Newham’s cycling community and are committed to ensuring that there are safe cycling routes in the borough.”

New Manhattan?

Prior to the Olympics Stratford High Street was being touted as a potential Manhattan style area, with its wide carriageway and tall buildings.  But of course whereas Newham Council blocked segregated cycle lanes,  New York City has been busy installing segregated cycle lanes and to very beneficial effect:

  • Injuries to pedestians down by over one fifth.
  • Cycle volumes rise but with a slight decrease in cycle injuries.
  • Greater increase in retail sales compared with streets with no cycle lanes.
  • IN many streets journey times actually decreased.

For a full report and some pictures of what can be done:

https://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2014-09-03-bicycle-path-data-analysis.pdf

 

Readout from meeting on 25 November 2014

Mostly a social meeting with excellent cheese and beer.  Nevertheless some business transacted as there is still a lot going on.

  • Crossrail funding had come through for environmental improvements around Maryland, Forest Gate and Manor Park Stations.  Forest Gate Councillors have been invited to attend our next meeting to discuss the plans for Forest Gate  which will take place on 26 January.  Councillor Patel of Manor Park had agreed to pre-consultation on those for Manor Park which is planned for mid January.  If you are interested in attending the Manor Park meeting please contact us through the details provided on this site.
  • We are now in possession of an excellent A3 map of Newham streets showing all of the 495 small improvements to improve cycle permeability.  It will be available for close inspection at our next meeting at the end of January.
  • Discussions are continuing between TfL and Newham Council on the Aldgate to Hainault Quietway on which we have provided input.  There is emerging recognition from both bodies of the potential for a network of quietways, as per our vision.
  • Arnold will be visiting the Outdoors in the City Project on 29 November to explore the possibilities of co-ordination with  Community Links, who run a cycle club there.  If anyone is interested in coming along get in touch with Arnold through the contact details on this site.
  • There was an update on the sorry saga of CS2 at Tramway Avenue.
  • The meeting was keen for the group to run a variety of rides next year- including some  Newham based  ones providing variations on the traditional Newham Ride,  some slightly longer rides and a call for the popular summer evening series of rides.  We will be putting together a programme shortly so volunteer leaders very welcome.
  • Stratford Gyratory is moving up the agenda of TFL junction improvements and the Committee will work out some thoughts for presentation at the January meeting.

Rainham Ride: Sunday 4 October

In what is turning out to be a Newham Cyclists tradition, the weather was amazingly good. The ride was enjoyable; 25 miles, mostly off road.  Particularly notable was the Thames in the autumn light –  as still as a mill pond.  Below are a couple of phots, taken by Chris.  The first is the group stopping by the river for a photoshoot and the second on the marsh path approaching the RSPB.

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LCC Trustee Elections

Any LCC members planning on voting in the Board Trustee elections may want to do a bit of additional research into Tony Martin. It has come to our attention that he is an extreme right wing activist (he has confirmed he is @tonyleemartin on Twitter).

Readout from meeting of 1 September

A lot to report:

  • We provided our views on Stratford High Street to Atkins.
  • We decided the committee would pursue a meeting with Councillor Christie.
  • We will take up communication training with a view to creating more targeted communications.
  • East London Hubub rides will be circulated on the Yahoo group.
  • Richard provided a general upbeat update on cycling developments. (1) Consultation has opened on the e-w and n-s Superhighways through Central London; (2) Aldgate to Bow CS2 improvements will go out to consultation , but are likely to include proper protection from left hooks and  (over 30%) segregation.  We need to look out a press for left hook protection in Stratford High St. This has opened today – see  https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/eastwest and https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/northsouth (3) This week Newham will be submitting an application for funding to remove the Stratford Gyratory, for which the ground has been prepared. (4) Proposals are moving forward for remedial improvements to Westfield Avenue in the Olympic Park, to be paid for by the developers of the International Quarter (5) Newham have employed a further person to deal with cycle projects. (6)The cycle permeability project is progressing to the mapping stage and will be incorporated into a draft cycle strategy for the borough which is being written at the moment. (7) the Lea Valley route will also link Canning Town to the Excel Centre/Cablecars via Sivlertown Way.  This links to our ward ask for South Canning Town. (8) 200k has been obtained to improve Gallions roundabout. (9) Newham almost doubled its cycle training delivery; it   is sending all its drivers on  serious cycle awareness training; and its engineers are getting LCDS (London Cycle Design standards) training . (9) A cycle parking audit has almost been completed picking up on historic suggestions for cycle parking, and 25K is available to spend on cycle parking and decluttering; 14 stands have recently been installed..
  • Richard exposed the Sustrans proposals for the Aldgate to Hainault quietway route on which immediate comments were offered.  We will carry out a formal consultation exercise separately.
  • We decided to pursue a response to the river crossings consultation:  https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/river-crossings. A ferry at Gallions Reach to Thamemead will reduce traffic on local roads in the south of the borough and create a slight increase on the A406 and a feeder road to it, and bring environmental benefits over upgrading the existing Woolwich Ferry.  My suggestion is to oppose any new  bridges –  which will  bring traffic too much traffic into the borough bearing in mind the prooposed Silvertown tunnel.   The Gallions Reach ferry appears the most beneficial to cyclists followed by the Woolwich ferry.  Comments to me by close 8th September  for drafting the response and submitting it by 12th September.
Not surprisingly after all this there was not time to look at the Space for Cycling follow up which we will do at our next meeting on 29 September.
See separate posting for forthcoming rides.
Arnold

Mundon ride 24 August 2014

The weather respected the tradition of being excellent for our rides.  Nine of us sortied to Chelmsford by train and then followed Sustrans national route 1 from there to Maldon and back, with a diversion to Mundon with its 14th  centruy church and “petrified” oaks.  Very picturesque and extremently pleasant.  Thanks to Chris for leading us.  Mundon Oaks - 24th August 2014 1 (2)

Above: The oaks, but no bikes.

Below:  A high spot en route, this time with bikes.

 

Mundon Oaks Ride - 24th August 2014 2 (1)

Readout from this week’s meeting and other news

On Tuesday night we had a very pleasant saunter down the canals to a pub in Canary Wharf that turned out to be called the Ledger – and back.  Some business was transacted as refreshments were taken.
  • We were sympathetic to a collective response to the latest river crossing consultation.

    It is  available here:  tfl.gov.uk/new-river-crossings   Do respond as an individual if you are so inclined but whether you do or not let me know what you think and I will collate a newham cycllists response.  The consultation closes 12 September.

  • Cody Dock, a regular stop on our Newham Ride has been shortlisted for a publicly voted grant (£120,000) for a wild flower park.  I will let you know when polling is open.

  • Newham and TfL, with assistance from us, are continuing to look at possible quietways and have looked  at: Greenway improvements, a possible Roding Valley way, a northern route from Stratford to Ilford and the Forest Gate to North Woolwich route.  These, with the Lea Valley (which is already planned and funded), a southern west-east route (which emerged during the ward audits) and from hte Excel to UEL, would make an excellent foundation for a Newham network of quietways.

  • We will consider the Space for Cycling follow up in September.

  • We are progressing with the possibility of making our 7 September Newham Ride a Councillor focussed rideg; and a meeting with Councillor Christie, who has been notified of recent instances of disappearing cycle racks and registered his concern.

  • We decided to  participate with Atkins in their survey of freight traffic on Stratford High St (see below)

  • We agreed to contribute to Olawale attending the cycle design courses run by Urban Design for London.

  • I am awaiting a meeting with Council officers on Crossrail improvements around Manor Park station.  If you would like to see the (very early pictures) and comment please let me know.
Other news
  • The 25 bus route has been chosen to trial a sensor system to improve cycle safety.
  • Our next meeting will be on 1 September (venue to be confirmed but probably Coffee E7).  A representative from Atkins will be attending to consult on freight in Stratford High St.
  • The Essex ride is on 24 August.

    Arnold

Safer Lorry Consultation

Some of you may have already done this, but if not – please just take a few minutes to have your say on TFLs plans to make London’s lorries safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/safer-lorries