Hackney LCC meeting 3 March 2010

Venue:
Marcon Court Estate Community Hall

Members present:
Trevor Parsons, Chas Wilshere, Siobhan Owens, Michael Cordy, Brenda Puech, Anna Hughes, Ben Edmonds, Oliver Schick

Guests:
Katy Andrews

Apologies: none received

Topics discussed:

1. Matters arising
2. Tesco Morning Lane planning application
3. Paul Street two-way cycling
4. Rivington Street two-way cycling
5. Gascoyne Road
6. Goldsmiths Row
7. Forest Road
8. Leswin Area Residents Association
9. Somerford Grove Estate ‘Green Fair
10. Cost of Cars research
11. LCC website
12. ‘Superhighways’ and LCN routes 8 & 9
13. Events
14. Leyton & Walthamstow marshes
15. East Festival
16. Any other business

1. Matters arising
CW showed impressive 360-degree photos he took recently at our workshop

Stoke Newington traffic count. BP asked about progress on sharing the results and analysis. BE + OS to analyse and provide graphic representation of figures

Hackney Bicycle Film Society. Great turnout for the first meeting of this new society. Film had to be shown in two sittings. BE commented on good atmosphere. Thanks to Adam Thompson for arranging.

Volker Highways (the council’s term contractor). We had suggested that the contractor and Streetscene should display signage explaining the purpose and duration of roadworks. Streetscene officers have since told TP that there is a new legal requirement to display basic information such as duration in any case.

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2. Tesco Morning Lane planning application

OS, with help from Rachel Aldred and Richard Lewis, submitted a very comprehensive set of comments. This focused on the compliance with Area Action Plan, Tescos parking ‘requirements’ and Hackney’s cycle strategy. Full comments to be linked here ASAP.

3. Paul Street two-way cycling

The northbound cycle contraflow in the southern section of Paul Street is now almost complete. TP + OS noted some of its imperfections, mostly caused by lack of active co-operation from LB Islington officers, and the reluctance to reduce motor-vehicle parking, but it is a great improvement. Still to be sorted out are the ridiculous sculpture plinth at Leonard Circus, and the silly island insisted upon by safety auditors several years ago when the contraflow on the northern section of Paul Street went in.

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4. Rivington Street two-way cycling
Rivington Street is to become two-way for bikes. Funding is coming from the London Cycle Hire ‘complementary measures’ programme. BE brought up the previously noted mini-cab rat run on Friday and Saturday nights. Action: TP to communicate this point to LB Hackney Streetscene

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5. Gascoyne Road
Work will start soon on the scheme on Gascoyne Road. This is part of the Olympics-funded walking and cycling route from Finsbury Park to Victoria Park. Northbound contraflow cycle traffic will be moved from the footway to the carriageway, and improvements will be made to the junctions with Victoria Park Road and Bradstock Road.

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6. Goldsmiths Row
Hackney has funding for a scheme on the southern section of Goldsmith Row this financial year. This is part of London Cycle Network route 9, and the comments we prepared regarding this route several years ago are still relevant. TP gave an overview of the problems created here by the well intentioned but badly conceived cycle track, viz

  • Cycle traffic cannot legally turn into Goldsmiths Row from Hackney Road, nor turn from Goldsmiths Row left into Hackney Road.
  • A conflict point is created as the cycle track passes the entrance to Hackney City Farm.
  • The entire street layout is unnatural. Pedestrians are supposed to use a raised footway between the cycle track and the carriageway. Quite reasonably, many walk on the cycle track.

The scheme will attempt to fix these problems and take a more holistic approach to the streetscape. MC noted the stub of a street (Ion Square) opposite Goldsmiths Row across Hackney Road, and the potential for a more direct crossing there. TP + OS to meet Andy Bourke from Street Scene to discuss. Tower Hamlets Wheelers and Tower Hamlets transport officers to be invited to discuss separately. All agree that lots of potential here, but tricky due to layout and borough boundary.

Action: BP to write to Tower Hamlets Wheelers to arrange an evening ride with them with aim to discuss the location.

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7. Forest Road
As part of the Dalston Junction bus interchange works, the westernmost section of Forest Road is to be one-way east-bound for motors. Hackney Cyclists successfully insisted that cycle traffic should not be included in this restriction. We have now received a scheme drawing including a cycle contraflow. This is welcome, but loading bays have been retained on the southern side of the street, which would make things awkward for westbound cycles.

Action: We will give consultation feedback to Streetscene..

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8. Leswin Area Residents Association

OS and TP attended a committee meeting of this revived residents’ group based around Leswin Road. They want to improve conditions for cycling in the immediate area. Currently cycle traffic is heavily penalised by the existence of the Stoke Newington one-way system (TfL controlled) and associated one-way working on adjoining borough-controlled streets. One of the results of this is that many people cycle contra-flow on the footway. LARA members are interested in the potential for cycle contraflows, for instance on Brooke Road and even on the High Street. OS and TP explained why full two-way working is a much better solution, and cautioned against campaigning for cycle contraflows where this might mean delaying or losing the bigger prize. LARA proposed to organise a meeting with traders. TP to introduce a Shoreditch trader who has benefited from Old Street now being two-way. Hackney Cyclists will provide LARA with more information along with aim of building momentum on 20mph, filtered permability scheme, gyratory removal.

Action: OS to prepare a briefing for LARA members

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9. Somerford Grove Estate green fair
AH working on a community day at Somerford Grove Estate, a ‘Green Fair’ on the 20th of March from 12-15:00. TP mentioned that STA Bikes may be interested, as they have been doing outreach work on housing estates. We agreed to fund up to £100 to provide mechanics to attend and do a Dr Bike. Action: AH to organise, BE to provide contact details for mechanics, HC banner and membership forms.

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10. Cost of Cars research
BE has had the feasibility study, funded by HC, back from the New Economics Foundation. The study gives several options for onward progression, the most substantial of which would cost £15,000. It was agreed to aim for this option with funding pooled from nationally focused like minded groups. Actions: BE to continue to seek funding.

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11. LCC website
BE met with Mike & Lucy from LCC office, along with a colleague of his to discuss the full LCC web presence. There is some movement on reviving the entire marketing strategy and resources. BE noted a new web resource should include a focus on using the web as a campaigning tool. OS added that a forum would be key. Action: BE to continue working with his colleague to assess the current situation and what opportunities are available to move forward.

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12. ‘Superhighways’ and LCN routes 8 & 9
Rick Andrew & Charlie Holland have been engaged by Koy Thompson, LCC chief executive, to work on TfL’s proposed cycle ‘superhighways’. RA is suggesting the possibility of diverting some or all of the funding for ‘superhighway’ 1, ie the A10, to the existing LCN routes 8 and 9. They have done a quick assessment of the routes as they stand, and are asking us for comments. RA and CH do not seem to have looked at the extensive comments which we produced on route 8 and route 9 as part of the CRISP process.

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13. Events

  • Afterworker Ride. To be held regularly every month. Next ride to be 7pm on 24th of March, meet at Goldsmiths Row and Hackney Road. To finish at Victoria Inn pub. Further dates for evening rides to be confirmed.
  • Cycle Counts. Count committee to meet, BE to arrange committee meeting. OS keen to have another Stoke Newington gyratory count in Spring.
  • Hackney Cycling Summit. Invite anyone involved with promoting cycling in the borough: councillors, shops, etc. To be a Saturday daytime with catering.
  • Bike Week. Further discussion necessary.
  • AGM. To make more of a social event.
  • Bike Workshop. Very successful in terms of numbers, volunteers needed to meet and greet people as the arrive, welcoming visitors, noting names and reason for attending.

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14. Leyton & Walthamstow marshes
KA says that there’s a proposal to change the alignment of route 9, on the old Black Path, so that it goes past the stables. Horse owners are apparently in objection with this. This is just beyond the Hackney borough boundary into Waltham Forest, but of interest to people going in that direction. Action: KA to provide OS with further info.

15. East Festival
OS noted that bike polo will take place at Spitalfields on Sunday 7 March.

16. Any other business
OS mentioned that Cycling in London, a book written by Tom Bogdanowich, LCC campaigns manager, will be launched at 18:30 on Wednesday 31 March at On Your Bike in Tooley Street. Some of the featured routes go through the borough of Hackney.

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Next meeting
The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 7 April, same venue.