Venue:
Marcon Court Estate Community Hall

Members present:
Keir Apperley, Alan Coombes, David Farnham, Marian Farrugia (minutes), Jeremy Hill, Trevor Parsons (chair), Brenda Puech, Oliver Schick

Topics discussed:
1. Matters arising
2. Hackney Living Streets relaunch
3. Olympic walking and cycling route
4. Victoria Park masterplan consultation
5. Stamford Hill Estate bike maintenance events
6. Millfields Park
7. AGM
8. Any other business

1. Matters arising

Minutes from previous meeting unfortunately not available.

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2. Hackney Living Streets relaunch

An inaugural meeting to revive the Hackney branch of Living Streets is to take place on Wednesday 12 March at the Pembury Tavern, from 7.30 to 9pm. Everyone interested in improving conditions for walking welcome. For more information ring David on 077486 465 30 or email davidDOTfarnhamATgmailDOTcom

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3. Olympic walking and cycling route

Hackney Cyclists have been involved in the consultation for a proposed new route starting at Finsbury Park and (current plan) at Victoria Park, and we have attended a route planning meeting and ride. Some Hackney councillors have complained of not being informed about the proposal, and have floated alternatives to a route-based approach eg spend the money on improving problem junctions instead. We are sympathetic to that idea, having always favoured the approach of restoring permeability, improving junctions and engineering for lower speeds across the street network as a whole, rather than designating a small sub-class of streets as cycle routes. However, there may still be useful gains to be had from continuing to investigate the route proposal, if the political will is there to deal with some of the problems along the way, especially the one-way systems around the Well Street area.

New proposed route changes have been sent to us by Jonathan Tan, LB Hackney Streetscene department’s Olympics transport co-ordinator. Trevor presented these to the meeting. Concerns
expressed by members included:

  • Route is still going via parks which either aren’t open (Clissold Park) or don’t feel safe at night (Hackney Downs)
  • Proposed route changes are quite convoluted at the Clissold end, where a new dogleg crossing Albion Road has been introduced. We prefer the original routing via Milton Grove, Allen
    Road, Brighton Road, Farleigh Road.
  • Valentine Road area poses serious difficulties because of the one-way system. Valentine Road needs to be made two-way for bikes, not just for the proposed Olympic route but also for
    London Cycling Network ‘Plus’ Route 8. If the will is not there tomake the reductions in car parking to allow this, despite the council’s long-held policy prioritising walking and cycling high above residents’ car parking, we suggest changing the end-point to the East Marsh rather than Victoria Park.

Actions: Trevor to continue linking with this consultation, and liaise with Clissold Park User group re: rumoured new bridge

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4. Victoria Park masterplan consultation

LB Tower Hamlets is consulting on proposals for Victoria Park, associated with a bid it wants to put for park improvements. It includes a new walking and cycling link between the two
parts of the park across Grove Road, but not much is planned regarding the crucial points of better cycle and wheelchair access. Discussions taking place in Hackney and Tower Hamlets
cycling community re: gate access, bike parking and possible better park linkages. A Victoria Park Society meeting is taking place on Saturday 8 March. Dave Tuckwell from Tower Hamlets
might go. LCC member Noel McDermott is co-ordinating responses on behalf of the Hackney and Tower Hamlets LCC groups.

Action: Brenda to liaise with Noel, Disability Hackney and Living Streets on responses

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5. Stamford Hill Estate bike maintenance events

Doug Auld, a resident, has contacted us for help in setting up some ‘Dr. Bike’ sessions at Stamford Hill Estate. Keir, who already runs various youth-oriented cycle maintenance projects on housing estates, was interested to hear this because he knows that Southern Housing would like to generate a youth cycling project on the estate.

We agreed that Hackney Cyclists would set aside up to £200 to cover the costs of a weekend session or two of bike maintenance. We should to take the opportunity to promote our workshop to residents

Action: Trevor to put Doug Auld in touch with Keir to discuss working together on this, especially on training young people in cycle mechanics

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6. Millfields Park

Concern expressed from park users re: walking/cycling conflict on the main path through Millfields Park, which is on the route of London Cycle Network ‘Plus’ Route 9. The path is subdivided visually with a stripe down the middle and green surfacing for the shared-use cycling and walking side. This leads some cyclists to assume that they have priority over pedestrians on ‘their’ side, which is absolutely not the case. A proposal of building a new separate path for cyclists has been put forward, but we believe that this would be unlikely to work — expensive, plus people would walk and cycle on both paths.

Action: Tim Evans to suggest the removal of the dividing line and green surfacing, to be replaced by shared use / pedestrian priority signs at entrances to the park

7. AGM
We decided to hold our AGM on Wednesday 7 May, venue TBC.

Actions: Trevor to invite Susie Morrow to talk about Wandsworth LCC’s Movers and Shakers project. Marian to liaise with Alan re: venue and food. Publicity to go out in an LCC insert

8. Any other business

  • Hackney Streetscene organised a very successful cycle pitstop on the Kingsland Road on 23 January, following the model of the event we held there during last year’s Bike Week. We contributed payment for young trainee mechanics to attend, as arranged by Keir. Excellent feedback from the event
  • Brooke Road ‘DIY Streets’ – workshop on 29th March

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Next meeting
Wednesday 2 April 2008, same venue.