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.
Our new facebook page is hereÂ https://www.facebook.com/newhamcycling
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 Â£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 Â£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.
Our Â new web site is now public.
Happy New Year all.
I have been contacted by Lu at LCC regarding the Campaign Organisers for the 2014 election build up. Â 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:
There’s also an article on why one lady is volunteering:
There is a training session for volunteers on the 18th January, so if you are interested, please get in touch with LCC before then.
- I have received notice from the Council of some new proposed traffic orders. Â They y would introduce one way traffic to Sandringham Road and Cramner Rd in Forest Gate. Â 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. Â I suggest that, in principle, further one way streets should not be encouraged in residential areas and is also Â 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. Â Let me know what you think.Arnold
thanks for John Biggs attachment but thought readers may like in full if unable to open:
(sorry about formatting)
John Biggs AM City Hall
The Queenâ€™s Walk
Switchboard: 020 7983 4000
Minicom: 020 7983 4458
Direct telephone: 020 7983 4350/4356 Fax: 020 7983 4418 Email: email@example.com
Dear Mr. Mayor,
I am writing to you regarding the Cycle Superhighway 2 Summit I held at City Hall on Thursday 28
November. This was attended by users of the CS2, London Assembly colleagues Val Shawcross AM,
Caroline Pidgeon AM and Darren Johnson AM as well as Chief Executive of the London Cycling
Campaign Dr Ashok Sinha and your Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan.
There was a lot of discussion about how safe CS2 is for cyclists, specifically the section which runs from
Aldgate Gyratory to Bow roundabout. Members of the audience put forward their concerns about the
route as well as suggestions for improving it, which I have included below.
I understand from the Cycling Commissioner that Transport for London is upgrading this section of the
CS2. In its current state, CS2 is substandard. The western section of the route, eastbound between
Vallance Road and Mile End, is in a bad state of disrepair, with faded surface markings. I would be
grateful if you could take the suggestions I outline below into consideration when making changes to
CS2. The people that attended the meeting last week regularly use the CS2 and want a safe and usable
route for people of all cycling abilities.
Many concerns were voiced about Bow roundabout at the meeting â€“ an issue I have raised with you
many times. The Cycling Commissioner agreed to look at the early start signals for cyclists at the
roundabout as currently, the time allowed for cyclists to move away before vehicles set off behind them
is too short. I understand that the light phasing is different to what was agreed with Transport for
London and vehicles are constantly jumping the lights. This delays cyclists from setting off from their
advanced start position, despite vehicles chasing them from behind as the lights turn green for cyclists
and vehicles at the same time. Furthermore, bus drivers who have contacted me have said that while
the layout is an improvement, the new design at Bow appears unable to cope with large numbers of
cyclists using the roundabout at the same time.
Recent enforcement of drivers at this roundabout has been useful but because this is a recurring
problem, a regular police presence at this roundabout would be very welcome. I would be grateful if you
Mayor of London
Our Ref: JB/2013-050
Date: 11 December 2013
– 2 –
could provide me with details of when the early start signal for cyclists will be extended and whether a
regular police presence at this roundabout could be put in place.
We also heard from two cycling instructors who teach people how to cycle safely, as well as teach HGV
drivers about how to share the road safely with cyclists. They made the point that the segregation at
Bow roundabout does not follow the safety standards. Cycling awareness courses teach cyclists that to
remain safe it is best to hold their place in the middle of the lane, but the segregation at Bow
roundabout pushes cyclists to the left and therefore into the danger zone.
The Cycling Commissioner set out various options for how Bow roundabout will be remodelled in the
future. An audience member suggested introducing four toucan crossings on Bow Roundabout to make
it fully segregated and allow pedestrian access. There are no facilities for pedestrians to cross from one
side of the Bow Road to the other. The nearest pedestrian signals are just beyond the church, some
300m to the west. I would strongly support improvements to Bow roundabout that includes pedestrian
facilities, particularly because of the development around the roundabout will mean an increase in the
number of the pedestrians crossing at this junction.
There was a consensus that the pace of change for improvements to cycling infrastructure moves
extremely slowly. This is particularly true of the Aldgate Gyratory which I understand from Andrew
Gilligan will be completely remodelled. Participants in the meeting put forward their suggestions that
the redesign of Aldgate should include Bishopsgate as well and extend into the City of London.
Furthermore, in a submission from UNITE who represents bus drivers working along the A11 have said
they feel that this section of the CS2 is particularly confusing and does nothing to aid cycle safety.
As Andrew Gilligan pointed out, 85 per cent of accidents are at junctions and 15 per cent happen on
link roads, between junctions. This is the case on the CS2 where cyclists have died at almost every
junction over the past ten years. It was felt that at busy junctions, cyclists need to be given their own
phase on the signals. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to combine this with a
Most road users, including cyclists, are not sure who has priority at junctions, and this confusion is
exacerbated where there is blue paint on the road. I was told by bus drivers along the route that where
blue CS2 markings share bus lanes there is confusion as to who has right of way.
The meeting welcomed the Cycling Commissionerâ€™s pledge to redesign junctions along the route. It was
felt that junctions should give priority to the most vulnerable users, especially on the A11 which
constantly has large vehicles travelling very fast along the entire route.
Most audience members were positive about the extension of the CS2 from Bow Roundabout to
Stratford. However, there were several suggestions for how to improve this section still further. The
raised dividers between the new cycle lanes and the vehicular lanes are constructed out of granite with
– 3 –
sharp sections which could cause lacerations to anyone who hits it. It has been suggested that standard
hydraulically pressed concrete battered, half battered, or bullnosed kerb would cause fewer injuries.
It has been reported that this section of the CS2 has flooded since it opened a few months ago and this
is not acceptable as it pushes cyclists into the traffic in an effort to avoid cycling through a large
puddle. Also, at the meeting an audience member raised their concerns about the left hooks along this
section and the lack of cycling infrastructure around the Stratford gyratory. This comes back to the
overarching problem for cyclists who use the CS2. TfL is encouraging cyclists to use the CS2 but are
effectively abandoning them at the beginning and end of the route and failing to provide cycle safe
infrastructure at the most difficult junctions.
The audience were very supportive of a 20mph limit along the CS2. Cyclists who use the CS2 said there
is currently very little enforcement of the speed limit. Londoners who would like to cycle but are often
scared because of the speed with which other vehicles move. This is a policy initiative supported by the
London Cycling Campaign through their Space for Cycling campaign would encourage more people to
cycle and save lives.
The was widespread support at the meeting for a better design of HGVs. The Cycling Commissioner said
that TfL is currently trying to get sign off on lorry cab design from the European Union, which would
allow HGV drivers far greater visibility.
At the meeting we also discussed the possibility of introducing restrictions of HGVS and I understand
that TfL is currently putting together proposals for different options. I would be grateful if you could
send me a copy of this once it is complete as it is a subject that was discussed by a number of
participants at our meeting.
There were a number of points raised about the development around Bow roundabout and the Aldgate
Gyratory suggesting that the Greater London Authority should incorporate land swaps when approving
planning applications in these areas. For instance, I understand that planning approval has been
granted for a large housing development by IKEA on the southeast corner of Bow roundabout. Would
you consider using your ability to call in planning applications to ensure developments on and around
cycling routes incorporate facilities for cyclists, if appropriate?
International Best Practice
Several audience members raised concerns that current cycling infrastructure is not designed to meet
international best practice. The Cycling Commissioner said if everything was designed to international
then it will take longer to get a solution. However, the general feeling was that establishing consistency
for cyclists is incredibly important. An audience member rightly made the point that because of the lack
of consistency for cyclists in London, let alone the rest of the UK, cyclists can often seem
unpredictable. We need national standards on cycling infrastructure as there is for drivers.
– 4 –
Timed loading bays along the route cause cyclists to swerve into traffic.
Unite London Passenger Section, representing bus workers and taxi drivers is in favour of fully
segregated cycle lanes utilising quiet roads. We also feel more resources should be focused on safe local
routes around local schools, markets and business areas.
Space for Cycling
As mentioned above, the LCCâ€™s Space for Cycling campaign has outlined six policy themes which they
feel will create cycling conditions that would cycling accessible for all ages. They include:
Â· Protected space on main roads
Â· No through-motor-traffic zones
Â· 20mph speed limits
Â· Safer cycle routes to schools
Â· Liveable high streets
Â· More parkland routes
I would be interested in whether TfL will take these themes, where appropriate, into consideration when
setting out the improvements to the CS2.
In conclusion, it is essential that cycling infrastructure is consistent and predictable so that cyclists
know what to expect when approaching junctions and travelling along link roads. Whichever option is
chosen to improve CS2, Transport for London should be mindful that cyclists could benefit from
national standards. The junctions along the entire route have to be redesigned to ensure that
vulnerable road users are protected, including Aldgate gyratory and Bow roundabout. Lastly, I would be
grateful if TfL could implement the measures the LCC has ouotlined in their Space for Cycling
I look forward to your response.
John Biggs AM
Member for City and East London
cc. Andrew Gilligan, Cycling Commissioner
Peter Hendy, Transport for London
For anyone who’s interested, I just received the following email and attached letter from John Biggs’ office regarding the meeting at City Hall a couple of weeks ago.
To whom it may concern:
Thank you for attending the CS2 Summit on Thursday 28thÂ November. It was extremely useful to hear your suggestions about how to improve the Cycle Superhighway 2. Iâ€™ve included the comments people made at the meeting in the attached letter which I have sent today to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, with a copy to the Mayorâ€™s Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan (who attended the meeting) and Commissioner of Transport for London, Sir Peter Hendy.
As soon as I have a response I will share this with you. In the meantime, if you would like to contact me my email isÂ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Â Kind regards,
Â John Biggs
London Assembly Member for City of London, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Barking and Dagenham
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been handed one of these this week. Â Whilst I applaud the fact that the Met are out there trying to make CS2 a safer place to cycle – I can’t help feeling that if TFL needed to produce these leaflets to explain how the early start system works, then it really isn’t doing the job very well.
Last Thursday I attended the CS2 ‘Summit’ at City Hall, organised by John Biggs (Assembly Member for East London and Labour’s mayoral candidate for the next London mayoral elections). Forgive me if this is a bit disjointed – I scribbled a lot of notes!
The panel consisted of:
- Darren Johnson (Green Party AM)
- Caroline Pidgeon (Lid Deb AM)
- Valerie Shawcross (Labour AM & Chair of the Transport Committee)
- John Biggs
- Ashok Sinha (Chief Exec of LCC)
- Andrew Gilligan (Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner
Both Councillor David Christie & Richard Lewis were in the audience from Newham.
Each member of the panel gave a brief introduction of who they were and what their positions were in relation to CS2. Â Mostly this involved agreement that it was ‘not good enough’ ‘dangerous’ ‘just blue paint’. Â All had historically told the Mayor that changes were needed – in some cases in great detail. Â It was generally agreed that the Mayor/TFL’s policy of ‘smoothing traffic’ was a barrier to reallocating road space to cyclists.
Valerie Shawcross said that there was a strong cross party feeling within the Assembly that London is ready for a cycling revolution – that people really understood the benefits of cycling (environmental, health, economy etc).
Caroline Pidgeon reminded everyone that Boris had promised a review of junctions 2 years ago and this has not happened. Â She repeatedly stated throughout the evening that things just weren’t happening quickly enough.
Darren Johnson said that the ‘idea’ of Cycle Superhighways was a good one – but that they needed to be properly thought out. Â He said that CS2 gives a false sense of security. He was also supportive of a 20mph speed limit in London.
It was then Andrew Gilligan’s turn. Â He started controversially by stating that “not even the best engineering in the world could have stopped the deaths at Bow”. Â This comment was not received well by the audience or by Ashok Sinha, who later stated that there were no issues with ‘left hooks’ in Holland.
Gilligan admitted that CS2 was ‘not good enough’ and that the Bow-Aldgate section really was ‘just blue paint’. Â He also said that everyone in the room wanted the same thing, it was just a matter of how it was achieved and at what speed. Â An assessment of traffic at Bow had shown 1900 cyclists and 4500 motor vehicles (of which 1500 were buses).
He then went on to outline the 3 options for improvement to the Bow-Aldgate section of CS2:
Option 1: Fully segregated 2m cycle lane, one way in each direction (similar to the Stratford-Bow section). Â This would involve removal of bus lanes in some stretches and partial removal of footways. Â It would also mean the removal of 7 mature trees and would need to deal with 57 ‘unsignalised’ side roads. Â Although he was somewhat vague about the timing on this, he eventually said that it could be done by late 2014/early 2015.
Option 2: Â This was the most radical of the options and involves the creation of a central track for cyclists. It would go over the flyover, taking out the need to negotiate the Bow roundabout and would mean less issues with buses and remove the issue of the side roads. Â However they had not yet worked out how to get cyclists on & off it!
Option 3: The simplest and quickest option involved semi-segregated cycle lanes – widened bus lanes with traffic ‘wands’ and inset bus stops. Â This could be achieved in 6-7 months.
All options include a full set of ‘cyclised’ junctions as well as the segregation of the Aldgate Gyratory. There were also plans in place for a parallel ‘Quietway’ running from Old Montague Street to the Olympic Park, but this needed input/approval from Tower Hamlets council and was not yet finalised.
Once the session was opened to the floor, some interesting comments and suggestions were made. Â People were very passionate – understandably so, given what’s at stake.
Several people commented on the Stratford extension not being perfect – in particular the left turn at Warton Road was mentioned. Â A Bikeability instructor also pointed out that in places, cyclists were forced into ‘secondary position’ on the left of the road, rather than being able to take primary position. AG said that the Warton Road junction was being addressed (as are the flooding/pooling issues in the areas around the bus stops).
Rick Andrew Â from LCC talked about how the elimination of ‘left hooks’ needed to be a priority and that this had no impact on traffic flow.
Gerry from TH Wheelers talked specifically about the light phasing at the Bow roundabout, the cyclists needed longer. Â AG said that this was something that could be rectified quite quickly. Â Gerry also requested that the blue paint be removed as it was just making things worse. [Note – on the roundabout, the blue paint has now been removed – not sure whether this is in response or not!]
AG said that 20mph limits were being put in place in ‘some locations’. Â He also admitted that currently bike lanes are the last thing to be cleared in snow, but that new maintenance standards were to be put in place.
Valerie Shawcross said that the culture of Highway Engineering is still based on creating space for cars. Â She pointed out that Dutch style roads are not ‘rocket science’.
John Biggs pointed out that as well as infrastructure, it was about behaviour and education. Â He also said that the idea of a central cycle lane on this route terrified him. This is something completely new and he suggested that it should be trialled elsewhere, rather than on this dangerous piece of road.
Rhiannon Redpath (organiser of the 38 degrees petition – sign it here if you haven’t already:Â https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-our-cyclists) stated that we (cyclists) are not asking for fast or ‘panic’ changes – we are just asking for changes and we want to know when those changes will happen.