London Cycling Campaign in Hackney

Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012, 7:30pm

Marcon Court and Aspland Estates Community Hall

Present: Mohan de Benoit, Michael Cordy (treasurer), Marian Farrugia, Richard King (Canal and River Trust Towpath Ranger), Trevor Parsons (co-ordinator), Oliver Schick (secretary, minutes), Mary Sewell, Kevin Standish.

Apologies: Siobhan Blackshaw (rides co-ordinator), Richard Lewis, Brenda Puech (events co-ordinator).

Agenda:

1. Minutes and matters arising

2. Report back from recent meeting with LB Hackney

3. A12 Lea Interchange

4. Car-free Day

5. Burns Night venue

6. Other events

7. Rides (includes 16th September ride to Redbridge Cycling Centre)

8. Wilmer Place development

9. Development of the former Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital for Children site

10. Wayland Avenue

11. Mare Street further north

12. Any other business

1. Minutes and matters arising

We had given comments on most outstanding traffic schemes in a meeting with LB Hackney (see next agenda item).

Lea Bridge Schoolhouse: Action carried over.

We noted that we were still looking for more suggestions for cycle parking in the carriageway. MF mentioned Stoke Newington High Street and MdB mentioned Shoreditch High Street. Both of these are Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) streets and not the domain of Hackney Council.

The Movement for Liveable London StreetTalk StreetWalk on the 18th August had been a success. Around twenty people attended. The walk went from the Britannia junction to De Beauvoir and then to Mare Street, London Fields, Broadway Market, and Goldsmith’s Row. Council officers and councillors, as well as members of Hackney Living Streets and LCCiH spoke about the locations visited.

We also welcomed some councillors from Southwark together with Southwark Cyclists and Southwark Living Streets, who wanted to inform themselves about what was going on in Hackney. They were delighted to come and found the visit very useful. As we cycled, the route was slightly longer than the StreetWalk route, also taking in Shoreditch, where we talked about the partial return to two-way operation of the gyratory.

2. Report back from recent meeting with LB Hackney

OS and TP had attended a long meeting with Hackney officers to discuss forthcoming traffic schemes.

Green Lanes/Collins Road/Stoke Newington Church Street: This scheme was soon going to be implemented. We had previously submitted approving comments.

Hertford Road/Stamford Road: Officers were preparing a small scheme to open this street closure up to cycling. We commented on detail and welcomed the scheme.

Mare Street: We greatly welcomed the aspect included in this proposed scheme of filtering Tudor Road. We had heard from many residents that they desired this very much, as Tudor Road was currently a bad rat-run, with vehicle flows spread evenly across the day of about 200 vehicles per hour. This is far too much traffic in what should be a quiet residential street. We were somewhat dubious about other aspects of the scheme, including the proposed creation of a new median strip in Mare Street, which would restrict cycle permeability.

Sheep Lane/Westgate Street: Officers presented a very good scheme for this junction, of which we thoroughly approved. There was still the matter of London Fields School understandably wishing to retain guard railing outside the school. All other guard railing would be removed in any case, but we expressed hope that with wider-ranging traffic management in the area this might also become a great deal less necessary. One item on our wish list was to have the bus stop relocated to outside the school to free up flexibility for the design of the main junction.

Leonard Square: We were delighted by the ideas officers had for Leonard Square, which would revert to its original name, having been called Leonard Circus while it was a small roundabout. A shared space scheme was planned, with many trees. We also asked officers to look at traffic management in the wider area, to make surrounding streets two-way and to consider modal filtering. Owing to the high number of service covers, the square would not look completely tidy, but it would still be as uninterrupted a surface as possible. The ‘Hitchcock’s Reel’ sculpture would be relocated to a more appropriate position by the side of the new square, another plus.

De Beauvoir Estate permeability: There was a proposal to improve north-south permeability from Ufton Road to the canal towpath through this estate. We had a site meeting with engineers to discuss possibilities. The main cost item in this scheme would be to move a bin store to improve cycle permeability.

Modal filtering of Poole Street: We had subsequently had a site meeting with officers to discuss this. Part of the ambition here was to reduce east-west rat-running through the area from Nuttall Street to New North Road and Southgate Road. Through careful consideration of the area, we also discussed filtering the whole area at the Britannia junction. This would immediately have a tremendously positive effect on the whole area.

3. A12 Lea Interchange

We were very sad to note the recent death of Dan Harris at this junction. He was killed by an Olympic bus turning left onto the southbound A12 slip road, a turn of 180 degrees. The A12 Lea Interchange was a bad junction that had recently been made worse by the arrangements for Olympic traffic. The motorway in itself effectively prevented a better design here, but a redesign of the junction underneath it might still improve things. We noted that in the ‘Olympic legacy’, things would become even worse, with a wide dual carriageway, the ‘Retail Lifeline’ leading south towards Stratford City.

There was currently a ban on cycling in the carriageway, which we expected to be lifted after the Games. If not, we should register strong protest.

OS mentioned the proposed widening of the Eastway bridge across the Lea Navigation and the plan to introduce an eastbound contraflow bus lane. We had not been consulted on this but had found out about it while studying statutory notices of traffic orders. We were going to find out more about it.

Action: OS and TP to investigate plans for the junction and to try to influence them if there is any possibility. OS and TP to check about the Eastway bridge.

4. Car-free Day

We had submitted an application for Car-free Day on the Cat & Mutton bridge. There was going to be a traffic order made mandating modal filters around a car-free area. TP had drawn up a detailed schedule of signs and traffic management and made the application

We were delighted to hear from the council’s term contractors Volker Highways that they were going to assist us financially with the cost of the traffic management work as part of their corporate social responsibility work. They were very interested in this because of the high rate of injuries to their workers while carrying out work on Hackney’s streets. (Volker had also recently introduced bikes and cycle training for their site inspectors, which had been a great success, and participated in the Cycle Safety Working Group with the Council, giving cycle training to all their drivers.)

We were going to contact the Broadway Market Traders’ and Residents’ Association (BMTRA) about the day soon. There will be scope for them to have several more stalls in the street between Ada Street and Andrews Road. Hackney Streetscene officers had already contacted the Markets department, who had indicated that this would be possible. The two parking bays between Andrews Road and Ada Street were going to be suspended.

MdB suggested contacting the marketing manager for the 394 bus route to carry advertising on the buses.

We were going to need eight stewards per shift. There were going to be three shifts (7-11, 11-3, 3-7).

RK mentioned that Canal & River Trust might bring a narrowboat to the event.

Actions: We need to recruit volunteers to act as stewards. TP to contact the CT Plus Marketing Manager to investigate whether advertising could be put on buses.

5. Burns Night venue

OS had sent a message to the local group calling for suggestions for a new Burns Night venue. Some suggestions had already been forthcoming and new links were being made. We were hopeful to have a venue confirmed soon. We agreed to hold the event on Saturday the 26th January 2013, the closest Saturday to Burns’ birthday on the 25th January.

6. Other events

We hadn’t heard of any other events taking place.

7. Rides (includes 16th September ride to Redbridge Cycling Centre)

There was going to be a ride, led by Siobhan Blackshaw, to the Redbridge Cycle Centre Open Day, meeting at London Fields, Lamb Lane Entrance, at 10am on Sunday 16th September. There was going to be time to enjoy the facilities and have lunch before returning to Hackney in the afternoon. Approximately 25 miles, mostly on quiet roads, but riders needed to be reasonably confident in traffic.

8. Wilmer Place development

We had been asked by the developers of this controversial scheme whether we were interested in having a presentation on it at our meeting. TP had invited them, but it had been too late notice. We agreed to submit comments to the planning application.

MF was concerned about deliveries by large goods vehicles. TP recalled that the applicants had switched their plans from using rigid lorries to articulated lorries, which are more manoeuverable.

Action: OS and MF to submit comments on the application.

9. Development of the former Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital for Children site

OS presented this planning proposal, which we were interested in because we were keen to see active frontages complement the recent improvements in Goldsmith’s Row. We were also keen to investigate whether the Community Infrastructure Levy from the development could provide money for a possible reconfiguration of the Goldsmith’s Row/Hackney Road junction.

There was going to be a drop-in session put on by the developers on Monday the 10th September at Hackney City Farm.

MF suggested approaching the Council to ask how they were planning to structure the future Community Infrastructure Levy work and that we might suggest a specific fund for cycling projects within it.

Action: OS to attend the drop-in session and to provide our comments on the proposed development.

10. Wayland Avenue

TP introduced this item. One of our members had written to the Mayor of Hackney to enquire about this street’s contraflow arrangements. He had received a response from the Streetscene department to the effect that there were no works planned so far, but that work was ongoing to rectify a faulty traffic order.

11. Mare Street further north

TP had received correspondence from a member who had complained about the journey south from Amhurst Road to Morning Lane along Mare Street. We surmised that this most likely referred to the left-turn movement into Morning Lane from Mare Street, in a left-turn only lane.

Action: TP to reply to our correspondent with our views and to ask her to support the proposal to remove private through motor traffic from Amhurst Road and Mare Street between Brett Road and Graham Road that is in the Hackney Central Area Action Plan.

12. Any other business

Pickwick Bicycle Club: MS asked whether any attempts had been made to locate the missing plaque which used to be on the former Downs Hotel (latterly Downs Tavern). This disappeared about ten years ago when the pub was closed and refurbished as flats. The plaque commemorated the first meeting of the Pickwick Club, which still exists. The meeting welcomed MS‘s initiative in trying to find it again. Action: MS to research the plaque.

Olympic Screening in Haggerston Park: MdB reported that there were 1,500-2,000 bikes parked on the railings on the day of the Olympic closing ceremony. Total attendance had been estimated at around 60,000 people over the duration of the Olympics, and bikes had been parked all around the park in large numbers every day. MdB estimated that at least one third of attendees may have arrived by bike.

The meeting closed at 10pm.

Date of next meeting: Wednesday, 3rd October, 2012, 7:30pm.

  Minutes of Hackney LCC meeting 5th September 2012 in PDF