Venue:
Marcon Court Estate Community Hall, E8

Members present:
Patrick Field, Katie Hanson, Jed Keenan, Richard Lewis, Melissa Martin, Brenda Puech, Ben Webster, Oliver Schick

Apologies:
Trevor Parsons

Topics discussed:
1. Burns Night
2. Chatsworth Road winter market
3. AGM
4. Bike thefts on Broadway Market
5. Powerscroft Road and Kingsmead Estate 20mph zone responses
6. Eagle Wharf Road
7. A503 CRISP
8. Route 38 consultation
9. New meeting venue
10. Any other business

1. Burns Night

The tenth ‘edition’ of Burns Night will be held on 28th January. A preparatory meeting will be held at Ben’s flat on 18th January. Items discussed:

  • Ticket prices: Dinner and dance £15; Dance only £10; Under 16’s £8. A £2 increase on all prices from and including 15 January. Some people don’t have e-mail, so tickets will be sent
    to them as a receipt and confirmation once we have received cheques.

  • A cap on volunteers (20) will help to prevent abuse of the volunteering arrangements.

  • A Burns’ Night ‘fringe’ event is planned for the large hall upstairs. This will enable the event to host more guests. Bands, poetry, exhibitions, etc were discussed.

  • Brenda will be in charge of catering.

  • Ben Crowley (LCC) wants to attend with his band – this could be part of the ‘fringe’ event.

  • Burns’ Night is our big annual event: we should do more with the money we raise—see Ben’s suggestion that we seek a new venue (below).

  • Better arrangements are needed to control crowds at the front desk.

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2. Chatsworth Road Winter Market

We will hold a stall on Chatsworth Road on 3 December 2005, with leaflets and hot mulled wine, to be prepared by Simon. Richard, Simon, Oliver, Brenda and Katie Hanson will be available to volunteer for at least part of this event.


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3. AGM

Our annual general meeting will be on Wednesday 1 March 2006. The meeting decided to hold the event at the Hothouse again, and ideas are sought for possible speakers and themes.
Ideas/possible actions included inviting Penny Thompson, Chief Executive of Hackney Council (who lives in Richmond Road), a discussion on bike security, a presentation by the police on
the new cycling Safer Neighbourhood teams. We need to seek a good chairperson. Further discussion will take place in the December monthly meeting.

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4. Bike thefts on Broadway Market

Andrew Boff, councillor for Queensbridge Ward, has raised concerns about the level of cycle theft on Broadway Market, currently running at up to eight cycles stolen per week. He asked what we could do and offered help. Actions: Richard and Brenda to set up a stall on 19 September and contact Andrew; Richard to produce a leaflet to encourage cyclists to think about where and how they lock their cycles. Also discussed, the suggestion of a regular free ‘bike park’ so that we can keep an eye on people’s cycles whilst they are shopping. Richard suggested that a stall at this location would be as successful as any held at festivals and other events—the Mile of Art gives an indication of sorts.

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5. Powerscroft Road and Kingsmead Estate 20mph zone responses

Oliver has drafted a response to these two schemes and sent them to Howard Klaasen. He said that on the Kingsmead Estate, the  proposals in their current form would lead to a diversion of some rat-running motor traffic; to resolve this an additional mode filter (road closure for motors with exception for cycle traffic) would be required. The Powerscroft Road scheme is larger. However, it retains a previous bad scheme and would result in local rat running diversions along existing one-way streets. Oliver said that he is trying to encourage people belonging to the Lower Clapton Traffic group to send in individual responses; the Council’s proposals and response forms have been disseminated to this group.

A major omission from the scheme is the ongoing failure of the Council to consider restoring two-way working on Powerscroft and Median Roads; the former would if implemented enable a proper cycle crossing to be installed into Clapton Passage and  simplify/improve the bus route.

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6. Eagle Wharf Road

A site meeting to discuss proposals for Eagle Wharf Road will be held at 10am on Wednesday 9 November, at the junction with New North Road. A number of issues will be discussed, including the design of the cycle gap at the eastern end of Eagle Wharf Road.

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7. A503 CRISP

The A503 is Seven Sisters Road between the Nag’s Head gyratory and Tottenham. Because of the complexity of this route, the CRISP has been split over two days; Thursday and Friday 17th and 18th November. Melissa said (as a nearby resident) that the CRISP needs to be thinking about more and better crossing points. Oliver mentioned the improvements that are proposed, namely the reduction in the number of lanes along the dual carriageway section from three to two (a general traffic lane and a bus-and-cycle lane in each direction) which would bring consistency to the road width throughout.

8. Route 38 bus priority consultation

Oliver is developing a written response from his annotations on the A3 maps. He carried out a detailed inspection of the route and the proposed changes and found that the changes had many flaws. Several of the controversial measures are already being implemented, namely the inset parking bays.

Richard has been in contact with TfL about the inset parking bays and has been working with Living Streets to determine minimum  standards for footway widths and maximum bay widths. The issue is cross-cutting, so he has written on behalf of Brent Council. Brenda asked whether Richard’s responses were consistent with the letter sent to the GLA about the inset bays; Richard confirmed that this was the case since the letter highlighted problems on “already narrow, busy footways.

9. New meeting venue

Ben suggested that a new venue should be found for meetings, as he considers Marcon Court, though very central, to be uncomfortable, cold and uninviting. If we want more of our nearly 1,000 members to become involved in cycle campaign work, we need to make more of an effort. This could be something worthwhile on which to spend the large amount of money we make at Burns Night – which goes largely unspent through the year (aside, as Brenda pointed out, from Car-free Day and the AGM at the Hothouse). Oliver replied that Marcon Court’s advantage is the low rent (£10).

Richard described how Barnet Cyclists had a full house (about 60) at the meeting he attended – albeit because people wanted to see his presentation. The venue is much more comfortable – “a recently redecorated church hall” and the way that meetings are organised makes sure that people enjoy themselves as much as possible. At 6.30pm, people gather in a local pub if they want to for a meal; at 8pm the meeting starts, with business held first, followed, after a half-hour break at about 9pm, by the presentation itself. Afterwards, a large number of people troop to the nearest late-night café for coffees, beer etc. It’s all very sociable—and very successful.

Ben suggested a room above a pub; however Richard, Jed and Oliver said that this would exclude members of the community whose religion / culture / other reasons would not allow them to attend. Besides which, pubs can be noisy and smoky. Richard suggested that the event could be held near a pub, then people could choose to go there if they wanted to afterwards.

Everyone agreed an action to try and find another potential venue in a central location.

10. Any other business

Brenda is concerned about the attitude of police to cyclists when collisions take place: it is assumed by police that cyclists involved in collisions with HGVs whilst riding between the nearside kerb and the HGV are negligent: “the attitude of the police seems to be more sympathetic to lorry drivers, who should in fact be paying more attention to their driving, especially since their vehicles are large and can be driven dangerously. Oliver acknowledged the problem and mentioned that things are changing slowly. With more beat cycling officers, awareness of cycling issues is increasing. However the campaign would continue to try and influence the police.

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Next meeting
Wednesday 7 December 2005, 8pm, Marcon Court Estate Community Hall, E8.