- Here's my note of our first meeting. Since I barely know most of you I'm blind copying this to all. Nettiquette.I'm emailing this to everyone who came (thanks!) to last Wednesday's meeting (80% of you had email) and hard posting it to the rest. I'm also emailing the 8 people who phoned me saying they couldn't be there but wanted to stay in touch/be at later meetings.This is also a big thanks to Isobel Stoddart, David Moorhouse, Peter Lewis and Roger Higman for their invaluable contributions to the evening....Paul McQuillan too.Copies too to LCC for the mag etc etc and a few others interested.That's about 50 people in all. Pass this on to anyone who might be interested.I'm also sending this to the Greenwich Cyclists email group I've set up. See www.egroups.com/group/greenwichcyclists.You can subscribe to the group via that site or by mailing email@example.comThe meeting to comment on Greenwich's Interim Transport Plan is on Wednesday 19 April.....see below.The next main meeting is on Wednesday 3 May....ditto. At that meeting we need to appoint a co-ordinator, a secretary, a website person, an events person and a press/pr person........Don't forget the 21 May ride: 10.30am London Bridge station or 11.15am Cutty Sark to Thamesmead and optional extra....under the M25 tunnel and back through Rainham marshes and Dagenham.21 June: midsummer madness....see below.......Best wishes.Barry
Notes of first meeting
Greenwich Forum, 7.30pm, Wednesday 12 April 2000
Paul McQuillan welcomed the 38 people present that very wet evening. He’d been a cycling campaigner for 20 years with both the Cycle Touring Club and as co-ordinator of the Greenwich Cycling Campaign.
Isobel Stoddart of Sustrans gave an overview of that charity’s work. Their £34.5m lottery grant was helping to provide the 10,000 mile National Cycle Network. The aim was to make routes attractive, memorable and useful. Sustrans also works locally for safe routes to school and Home Zones. The first 5,000 of the NCN will be launched on the longest day, 21 June, during the Millennium Festival of Cycling, 17 – 25 June 2000. There will be rides and events all over the country: Ride the Net. In London, there’s a press launch and party at 8am that day at the London Eye (that big wheel). About 8 rides leave from there that day to various parts of the country. (Details at www.sustrans.org.uk…….It was later agreed that the summer solstice ride to see dawn at Primrose Hill could be extended and carry on to the South Bank for 8am. Wonderful).
During questions, concerns were raised about the future of the Greenwich foot tunnel lifts: the new DLR extension means that tunnel use has dropped dramatically. Cyclists now seemed to be the majority of foot tunnel users but will the 2 local authorities continue to run the lifts? GC will raise the matter with Greenwich.
David Moorhouse, Cycling Officer for the London Borough of Greenwich, then described his work. The London Cycle Network runs through the borough and much work has been done on cycle routes along the riverside. There are now 10 new cycle lanes locally, the area round the Dome has particularly good facilities with 3 metre pedestrian paths alongside cycle paths of the same width. Much work was now being done on safe routes to schools, new cycle lanes and continuous routes. He welcomed the formation of this new group.
During questions it emerged that Greenwich, unlike most London boroughs, did not have a full-time Cycling Officer. David was expected to spend most of his time on parking and other car matters. The meeting agreed to take up this issue.
Peter Lewis, Director of the London Cycling Campaign, was delighted to be at the meeting and welcomed the new group. LCC depended on its independent local groups. Effective local groups like Camden, Hackney, Lambeth and Southwark have made very real improvements to local cycling facilities. Paula Smith is LCC’s Community Cycling Officer, unwell tonight. LCC were co-ordination 94 London events during the Millennium Festival, what was National Bike Week. The main event would be the carnival in Mile End park on Saturday 17 June. It starts at 10.30am and most Borough groups are organising feeder rides to it. LCC HQ’s main function is to provide effective lobbying, the London Cycle Network is of course a flagship project but there is much else to do. Local groups are best placed for local work and feed in to the centre. A particularly positive result has been had recently in the City of London…..after years of almost hostility to bikes, the City has suddenly changed heart and advance stop lines and cycle lanes are going in fast. LCC tries to publicise best practice. (www.lcc.org.uk).
Roger Higman, senior atmosphere and environment campaigner for Friends of the Earth, put cycling into a global context. Global warming, atmospheric pollution, record London asthma rates are all too easily forgotten about by drivers. Each transport mode should be made to pay the full cost of the damage it causes. Traffic congestion is now costing the UK £19bn a year, whilst 40% of Londoners have no car. The AA is a hugely powerful lobby and the UK Government has backed-off on traffic reduction. (www.foe.co.uk)
During questions, James Barber, co-ordinator of Southwark Cyclists, described how that groups of 550 members operates and how effective their glossy monthly newsletter was. Keith Tallentire, London Borough of Greenwich’s Agenda 21 officer, welcomed the new group and looked forward to working with it. He stressed though the need for dialogue, partnership, innovation and consensus.
Barry Mason, who had called the meeting, then explained that he’d recently started work in Greenwich and was keen to help form an effective local cycling group such as other boroughs have. Volunteer help was needed and all agreed that the second meeting on 3 May would consider how the group should run itself and who would do what. This first meeting was very timely though. Greenwich’s Interim Transport Plan is out to consultation and comments are needed by the end of April. The plan proposes a spend of £200m on transport – but that a mere £3m of that is for pedestrians, cyclists and buses combined. Others mentioned that the ITP still had the Thames shore Greenwich town centre by-pass scheme in (£113m) as well as extra Blackwall tunnel capacity and a new Beckton/Thamesmead road bridge.
It was agreed that those who were interested would meet to write Greenwich Cyclists formal response to the ITP. (Later fixed for 7.30pm on Wednesday 19 April, upstairs room, Admiral Hardy pub, northern exit of Greenwich market, College Approach).
Barry then thanked all for coming and the meeting adjourned to the pub across the road.
Next full meeting: 7.30pm, Greenwich Forum, Wednesday 3 May.
020 7232 0444
16 April 2000