Online Newsletter of Greenwich Cyclists Issue No.10 May 2001
Spring on your bike!
Greenwich Cyclists have announced an exciting programme of cycle trips for the spring.
Greg Englefield, of Greenwich Cyclists, explains: "With the weather improving, spring is an excellent time to dust of your bike and get pedalling. Our rides are designed to suit cyclists of all ages and abilities theyre great fun, theyre free and theyre open to anyone".
Highlights of the programme include the Mayors Charity ride along the banks of the Thames between the Cutty Sark and Erith and a weekend away to see the Eden Project at St Austell.
Full details of the spring rides are over the page and the full years listing can be found on the events page here or phone
020 7232 0444.
More rides will be added so keep in touch, suggest a ride you want to do, or you could even lead one. We can always use help.
Foot and mouth
The current foot and mouth situation means that we need to stay away from some rural areas for the time being. Until the all clear is given the programme will be reviewed a week ahead of time and amended if need be. We havent cancelled a ride yet but do check to ensure the ride is still on and that the details are right.
Good luck to
As Pedal Power goes to press, hundreds of cyclists are expected to participate in the Mayors charity ride on Sunday 29 April.
Local MPs and Councillors will be pedalling the 12 mile route in aid of disabled children in the borough, the chosen cause of Jagir Sekhon, Greenwichs Mayor.
Greenwich Cyclists wishes every rider a thoroughly enjoyable day out.
Greenwich Cyclists is calling on the Council to consider protecting the cycle lanes on Woolwich Road.
Following terrible injuries to young woman who was cycling along Woolwich Road in March, GC has written to several councillors and to council officers calling for rumble strips, bollards and raised kerbs to be considered so as to make cycling safer along this important cycling artery which is also part of the London Cycle Network. GC plans to deliver a more detailed plan shortly.
Several examples of protected cycle lanes on busy main roads in London exist, and GC would like to see Greenwich install similar protected along Woolwich Road to help prevent accidents and encourage local people to consider cycling.
Bike events - the full spin
Below is our spring rides programme. Our rides are enjoyable, informative, sociable and fun. All (except as shown) are free to anyone without booking. Most events start from Cutty Sark Gardens (CSG) or from the Forum, 177 Trafalgar Road, SE10 (Forum). None of these rides are races they are paced for all. Distances vary allowing flexibility for the wide range of riders we hope will join us.
On some train assisted rides, we leave very soon after the meeting time. Expect help with minor problems like punctures but ensure your bike is roadworthy and bring a pump and a spare inner tube or two. And bring swimming gear if the ride goes near the sea.
Our programme is constantly updated on our email list, which you can subscribe to at www.groups.yahoo.com/group/greenwichcyclists.
Wednesday 2: 7.30pm. Monthly meeting. Forum
Monday 7th, Bank holiday, 10.00am at CSG for 10 mile gentle ride along Waterlink way. Mostly on paths alongside Ravensbourne and south London waterways, ideal for those who want a short ride or families. Bring picnic lunch or pub stop may be possible if wanted
Friday 11: weekend away. Train to St Austell. B&B. The Eden project. Then 30 rolling miles to Tate St Ives and train back Sunday. Bring your swimmie.
Saturday 19; Burnham on Crouch & estuary Essex, 10am Liverpool Street Station
Friday 25: Critical Mass, 6pm, National Film Theatre
Sunday 27: 10am, CSG, last Sunday ride. Woolwich Arsenal Firepower museum opens.
Saturday 2: 10am Liverpool Street Station. Train to Sudbury and 40 miles via a local gliding club. Flat: Stour Valley.
Wednesday 2: 7.30pm. Annual General Meeting. Forum
National Bike Week
Saturday 16: 10am CSG. Locks, docks and one smoking ferry: Woolwich Ferry, Isle of Dogs, Tower Bridge, Rotherhithe, Deptford. Slow riverside 30 miles.
Sunday 17: 10am at CSG Love Lea Valley led by Sustrans. 30 miles.
Tuesday 19: 7pm CSG After Worker: 20 riverside miles.
Wednesday 20: 7.30am CSG. Commuter Breakfast: Bike to work day. Commute to breakfast with Southwark Cyclists.
Thursday 21: 2am at CSG. Summer Solstice Special. See the longest day dawn at Primrose Hill and pick up other nuts along the way. 2.30am: London Bridge. 3am: Bar Italia, Frith Street, 4.30am: Primrose Hill. 4.43am: sunrise. 5.30am: breakfast
Saturday 23: 10am sharp, London Bridge station by Smiths for train Dungeness Swim and the Romney Marshes. The flattest 50 miles in UK.
Sunday 24: 10am CSG, Oystercatchers: 65 flat miles to lovely Whitstable. Train back.
Comment on cycle lanes
Local councillors have asked Greenwich Cyclists to report on cycle infrastructure requirements in the borough. GC plans to use input from local cyclists to provide councillors with a summary of the good and bad cycle routes in different wards. Whilst the London Cycle Network provides a start, GC believes there is considerable scope to make cycling easier and more accessible both for longer commuting journeys and shorter local trips. This involves making busy roads safer and providing good cycle parking. Cycle lanes need to be continuous, clearly marked and where necessary physically protected to stop motor traffic encroaching. Contact Greg with your ideas.
Commute to central London?
Our cycle counts show that several hundred cyclists commute along Trafalgar Rd, Creek Road, Evelyn Street and Lower Road. This is a clear desire line because it is fast and direct. When youre pedalling every saving of energy helps. A 10 minute saving each way converts to about two working weeks a year! So, we would like to see a proper protected cycle lane combined with existing bus and cycle lanes to link Greenwich with central London. We shall be approaching Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark Councils and Transport for London on the issue. The road space generally exists along much of the route but is wasted. If you feel strongly that such a route would help you as well as the hundreds of other cyclists using these roads each day then contact GC.
Call for cycling officer to be full-time
Despite the rhetoric in the Council's Interim Transport Plan and various planning documents about sustainable transport in the borough, GC is concerned at the lack of application of these ideas in practice. For example the Council has admitted that it failed to spend its modest budget for cycling infrastructure last year (the reasons for the failure are unclear), and the cycling officer is not full-time despite having a major task to do. GC would like to see this post made full-time in order to allow the officer to champion cycling in the Council.
Greenwich town centre - voted worst cycle junction
Cyclists have voted Greenwich town centre as the worst junction for cyclists in the borough. The road layout in central Greenwich was revised in late 1999. It is very cycle and pedestrian unfriendly in many places with up to four lanes reserved for motor traffic (moving or stationary) around the centre when all roads leading into the centre are single lanes. The pavement at the north entrance to The Market is less than four feet wide despite thousands of pedestrians visiting the market. No cycle lanes exist. GC believes that proper lane rationalisation and rerouting certain traffic lanes could dramatically improve matters for pedestrians, cyclists and buses (the Council's stated priority transport users) without inconveniencing those who actually need to drive.
Mast Pond Wharf opens
Following months of lobbying by Greenwich Cyclists and Sustrans, the Council has agreed to install a temporary cycle and pedestrian route across Mast Pond Wharf to link Woolwich Dockyard and central Woolwich.
This is one of the few remaining missing links in the Thames path in Greenwich and will have a lasting benefit. The council has assured us that the route will be open for the Mayor's Ride on 29 April.
Keep in touch
Go to www.groups.yahoo.com/group/greenwichcyclists and click on Subscribe.
Two interesting cycle recycling projects were introduced at our last meeting.
In each case, volunteers collect unused or unwanted bicycles (or parts) repair and service them, and then either ship them to developing countries, or provide them to asylum seekers in the UK. Both charities co-operate quite closely and they are looking for suitable storage space in London and volunteers to help with this work. If you are interested please contact Greg Englefield (see below).
- Man Birdi and Andrew Bestwetherick stepped up to receive our Greenwich Pride grant award from local MP Nick Raynsford on Friday 30 March. The news made the front page of the Mercury! The £1,000 grant (the maximum possible) is for a pilot project to develop local cycle route maps. If youre interested in this project which will involve researching the routes, working with illustrators, designers and printers, plus some fundraising please get in touch.
- Sustrans Rangers: Greenwich Cyclists have agreed to take on the role of Sustrans Rangers for the Cutty Sark to Deptford Bridge stretch of the National Cycle Route. Collectively, our role will be to keep an eye on the route and report any problems.
Our next meeting will be devoted to brainstorming ideas for a cycling strategy for the borough. Though the Councils transport plan gives priority to pedestrians and cyclists (at least thats what it says) Greenwich Council has failed to come up with any convincing cycling strategy or plan. They have failed to meet even the minimum requirements set out in the governments National Cycling Strategy. So, if they wont do it we will! If youve got any ideas how we can get more people onto their bikes please come along to the next meeting: 7.30pm on 2nd May at the Forum, 177 Trafalgar Road, SE10.
For background reading, check out www.nationalcyclingstrategy.org.uk or www.local-transport.detr.gov.uk/ncs/ncs.htm
Our meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month at 7.30pm at the Christchurch Forum, 177 Trafalgar Road, SE10.
We welcome your contributions, suggestions and even your criticisms! We meet on the first Wednesday of every month (next meeting 2nd May) at The Forum, 177 Trafalgar Road in Greenwich, SE10 9EQ. You can write to us there or try:
Co-ordinator: Barry Mason - phone 020 7232 0444 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning co-ordinator: Greg Englefield
Phone 020 8858 7982 or
Liz Delap: email@example.com