Hackney LCC meeting 3rd October 2012

London Cycling Campaign in Hackney

Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012, 7:30pm

Marcon Court and Aspland Estates Community Hall

Present: Richard King (Canal and River Trust Towpath Ranger), Andrew McClean, Trevor Parsons (co-ordinator), Oliver Schick (secretary, minutes), Siobhan Blackshaw (rides co-ordinator), Richard Lewis, Brenda Puech (events co-ordinator).

Apologies: Mohan de Benoit, Michael Cordy (treasurer), Katie Hanson, David Lukes (committee member without portfolio), Kevin Standish.

Agenda:

1. Minutes and matters arising

2. Car-free Day debrief

3. Broadway Market awareness-raising

4. Shoreditch Two-way Day ten years on

5. Rivington Street and Vestry Street cycle parking

6. A Vision for the Porters’ Route

7. Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital for Children development

8. Rides

9. Other events

10. Any other business

1. Minutes and matters arising

Lea Bridge Schoolhouse: Action carried over. OS to enquire whether there is still time.

Green Lanes/Stoke Newington Church Street/Collins Road junction: TP and OS to reply to public consultation.

Leonard Circus: We had heard that Sustainable Hackney were supportive of the tree-planting planned as part of this scheme.

A12 Lea Interchange: LCC Central has been asking questions about this. We should co-ordinate. OS and TP still to check on progress with the Eastway bridge.

Wilmer Place: We still need to submit comments.

Mare Street: Action carried over.

2. Car-free Day debrief

We held Car-free Day at the Cat & Mutton Bridge on Saturday the 22nd of September, taking in part of Pritchard’s Road between Whiston Road and Andrews Road, and Broadway Market between Andrews Road and Ada Street. Unfortunately, we had some opposition from the BMTRA, but the day was a good success. Even though we were authorised to spend up to £500, we did not incur any expenditure. The Council’s term contractor, Volker Highways, offered to provide signage, including advance signage, and barriers on the day for free out of their Corporate Social Responsibility budget, for which we are very grateful. The weather was brilliant, a gorgeous sunny day wedged in between two fairly miserable ones. We were a little stretched but had just enough volunteers to attend to all the points of entry into the car-free area. There were some glitches with signage.

We shared observations. BP commented that the gradient on the footway across the bridge was much worse for wheelchair users than the gradient in the carriageway.

We need to start thinking about where to hold Car-free Day next year. We brainstormed and came up with a couple of possible options which need to be investigated, but it will to some extent depend on which schemes are likely to be pursued next year. Next year, the 22nd of September falls on a Sunday.

We conducted a follow-up survey (a 60-second questionnaire) of visitors to Broadway Market a week after Car-free Day to gather reactions to the day and to find out people’s opinions about motor traffic restraint in the area.

Only around a quarter of the people we interviewed had been to Broadway Market the previous Saturday, pointing to a high turnover rate of visitors. 91% of those interviewed said that they would be in favour of the bridge being car-free on Saturdays. 67% said that they would be in favour of the bridge being car-free at all times, and 88% supported the idea of extending the market down to the bridge (taking in the section of Broadway Market between Andrews Road and Ada Street, which is currently not part of the market because the 394 bus uses Ada Street as part of its north-eastbound alignment).

We wondered if the BMTRA might be interested in organising an extended Christmas Market sometime in December. While it was likely to be cold, previous experience with the Chatsworth Road Winter Market had shown that interesting one-off events can be popular.

Action: All to think about possible locations for next year.

3. Broadway Market awareness-raising

We have meant for some time to assist the BMTRA in dissuading cyclists from riding through the market. This would take the shape of flyering and talking to people, and also the provision of some signage. This might be permanent diversion signage for market Saturdays. OS suggested to donate two signs to the BMTRA that could be put up on the barriers at either end of the market, explaining the requirement to take the diversion in friendly terms, rather than the usual ‘Cyclists Dismount’ approach, which doesn’t work. TP wondered whether recent changes to the TSRGD now made it possible to put travel times on signage rather than distances.

Actions: OS and BP to appeal for volunteers. OS to liaise with the Council on diversion signage.

4. Shoreditch Two-way Day ten years on

TP wanted to organise an event to commemorate Two-way Day, as he thought that people needed reminding that we were still waiting for the outstanding work on the Triangle to be addressed. This includes the desire to modally filter Curtain Road and to redirect northbound private motor traffic along Shoreditch High Street (making it fully two-way where it currently only permits bus and cycle movements northbound at the junction of Bethnal Green Road and Shoreditch High Street), which was not included in the work done in 2002 because of certain unclear technical difficulties. We also remain very keen to see the ‘apex’ site (the junction of Great Eastern Street, Old Street, and Pitfield Street) redesigned to remove the right turn from Great Eastern Street into Pitfield Street (which causes a lot of rat-running up Pitfield Street to New North Road) and to reinstate a better public realm.

BP suggested doing a joint event with traders in Curtain Road. They had been very supportive of Hackney Living Streets’ work on protecting two pedestrian crossings in the area, which were threatened with removal. OS thought that it might be worth investigating whether the organisations involved in the original campaign were still interested in Phase 2. RK wondered whether we might be able to hold an event at Hackney House, the Council’s ‘pop-up’ space set up during the Olympics. TP asked whether we could perhaps do another Car-free Day there. OS said that this would probably have to be in Curtain Road again, as in 2001, as the apex site did not lend itself to a Car-free Day. We recognised that if Curtain Road was not a possibility, we would still have Rivington Street as a fallback option. RL suggested a Christmas market as part of the event. We heard from the Dragon Bar that they were interested in holding an event.

Action: TP to investigate the state of local enthusiasm.

5. Rivington Street and Vestry Street cycle parking

We looked at drawings for new cycle parking facilities in the carriageway at these two locations. Both proposals looked very good and we decided to support them fully.

Action: OS to submit comments.

6. A Vision for the Porters’ Route

OS outlined the ‘visioning’ process we are going through to record our thoughts on how Hackney should be changed. Having recently completed a ‘Vision for Shoreditch’ as part of our response to the Shoreditch Space and Place Shaping Plan, we are ready to tackle another piece of work. OS suggested creating a ‘Vision for the Porter’s Route’ next, as enhancing the Porters’ Route is one of our strategic priorities and a lot of good work had recently been done along it, with more programmed to be carried out soon. The group was in agreement with this suggestion. The scope of the vision would be from Hackney Road to Lea Bridge.

BP suggested holding a workshop on it and to ask for ideas on the mailing list. RL thought it was important that we work with other, neighbouring groups who are stakeholders in the Porters’ Route, i.e. Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign and Tower Hamlets Wheelers. BP had the idea of doing a ride along the route. Everyone liked this suggestion. TP reported that the Wheelers had asked whether we had any cross-borough stuff to include in their newsletter, as they did a lot of newsletter distribution in Shoreditch. We thought that this was a good opportunity to engage people with some of the ideas we have for the route.

OS mentioned that he wanted to meet Hackney City Farm on the proposals we had for the junction of Hackney Road and Goldsmith’s Row to see whether they would support them. We would need to carry out some consultation work as part of creating the vision.

We decided to contribute an article to the Wheelers newsletter first and then think about a ride.

Actions: OS to lead on the Vision for the Porters’ Route, to appeal on the list for people’s opinions on the route, and to write an article for the Tower Hamlets Wheelers newsletter.

7. Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital for Children development

This new development, alongside the Porters’ Route, was also discussed as part of our thinking about the Vision for the Porters’ Route. So far, the developers appeared to have done an exemplary job of community consultation. TP had gone to the exhibition on the development at Hackney City Farm that day and showed a drawing to the meeting. There were going to be 185 flats, new permeability in the newly-created ‘Muffin Lane’, small kiosk spaces termed ‘urban joinery’, 35 car parking spaces (it was unclear what percentage of them would be for disabled people), and a lot of cycle parking spaces in six clusters near each ‘core’ of lifts and stairs. There was going to be a ramp down to the basement car park along a new street south of the existing development near the junction of Goldsmith’s Row with Kay Street.

We had a number of questions and concerns about the development. We had been hoping for more active frontages along the street. The developers were proposing a lot of front doors, which was very good urban design, but we felt that there should be a stronger commercial element beyond the ‘urban joinery’. We would also like to be involved in discussions about access. TP reported that LB Hackney had been firm in discussions with the developers on maintaining the existing modal filtering in Goldsmith’s Row, and we have a proposal to modally filter Kay Street near its junction with Goldsmith’s Row to create a small public square there, which alongside the proposal to realign the junction of Goldsmith’s Row and Hackney Road would be two suggestions we would put forward for planning gain.

Action: OS and TP to ask developers for a meeting or to submit comments.

8. Rides

SB gave a report back from the recent ride to the Redbridge Cycling Centre at Hog Hill. Six had made the ride, with one rider on a BMX bike going all the way there and back.

We thought about a possible ride along the Porters’ Route again under this item. It was not clear which starting-point we might choose; suggestions were London Bridge or Arnold Circus. It was also not quite clear how far the old alignment was still traceable into Essex. We were going to ask Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign about this.

Actions: OS to send a possible route to SB. SB to contact other local groups.

9. Other events

Three schools had been suggested as possible Burns Night venues. They were Thomas Fairchild, Rushmore, and Tyssen schools.

Action: BP to contact schools.

10. Any other business

Garage: We have selected a garage and will hopefully soon be able to move things into it.

Playstreets: TP suggested congratulating those responsible for the excellent Hackney Playstreets scheme. All agreed. Action: TP.

World Mental Health Day: SB reminded the meeting that the Hackney Bike Workshop was looking for volunteers to help with this event in Gillett Square on 14th October, 2-7pm. Volunteers should contact Adam Thompson on hackneybikeworkshop@gmail.com. Bike security marking: We noted that Hackney’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams were doing bike marking events around the borough. Greenway: SB asked if the Greenway (in Newham) had been reopened yet. RL said that it had not been opened between Victoria Park and the railway line yet. The footbridge over Stratford High Street was being dismantled. There were some tentative plans for a ‘floating towpath’ under Stratford High Street, like the ones previously installed on the Limehouse Link and at the A11 Bow Interchange. The meeting closed at 9:40pm.

Date of next meeting: Wednesday, 7th November, 2012, 7:30pm.

  Minutes of Hackney LCC meeting 3rd October 2012 in PDF