NEWSLETTER 6 DECEMBER 2000
Nine months old: 31 rides, loads of good events, much reasoned campaigning for better bike infrastructure. Many many thanks to all involved. Here's a summary of what we've done to date, andsome plans for the future.
Thirty five Greenwich Cyclists first met on 12 April 2000 and soon agreed a constitution and equal opportunities policy. We agreed to run ourselves, and to be affiliated to, but independent of, the London Cycling Campaign. Our aims reflect our 3 main activities:· organize and do rides of all sorts.
From short local explores for novices and families to the overnight 120 mile Dunwich Dynamo and in between· engage with Councillors and Council Officers and others to work for improved bike facilities: routes, parking, planning · develop our membership and publicise events
An early £500 grant from the Greenwich Agenda 21 scheme has lasted all year. We rely on our own work as volunteers. Fund-raising is now a big priority. Donations always welcome! But what have we done?
Greenwich Council Interim Transport Plan
In April we wrote a detailed response to this and await results. The Council says that cycling should be a priority mode of transport. Many potential local cyclists are nervous because of heavy traffic and the lack of a decent cycle network. It's high time the Council took cycling much more seriously.
Pedal Power?In May we started this, our monthly newsletter which goes to several hundred local cyclists. We help production and distribution help. This one doesn't look as good as it should Nick's on holiday.
Millennium Festival of Cycling June: we organised 12 rides and looked like a well established group. A couple of short trips flopped but 130 people enjoyed the rest. Most fun? The 2am Cutty Sark start on the longest day, and the ride through deserted London to see sunrise from Primrose Hill. A motley crew. After an early breakfast in Borough market, some of us helped Sustrans launch their National Cycle Network and cycled back to Cutty Sark Gardens where four of those routes meet. Cycle training We've organised professional training for a dozen beginners and helped others commute into London by bike. Need training/advice? Ask.
Football? Charlton Athletic Football Club asked us to help at their August open day. We did a live radio broadcast on Millennium FM, stood nervously on the pitch at half-time, and raffled a bike donated by Action Bikes of Bexley. 250 kids did our cycle assault course.
Sustainable Transport have now built 5,000 miles of the 10,000 mile National Cycle Network. We've great links with Isobel Stoddart who is developing the Greenwich sections. The bit through Woolwich Arsenal might be open as you read this. On the Thames Cycle Route stretch from Cutty Sark to Erith and beyond, only the Thames Barrier/ Woolwich Ferry bits still force you away from the Thames onto the road. Explore with us.
We've started regular monthly kids and family rides starting at the Cutty Sark. Many use the Thames path. These are off road. Loads more in 2001.
www.greenwichcyclists.org.uk will soon be up and hold rides, routes, news and wish-lists. Go to www.egroups.com/group/greenwichcyclists and join our mailing list now.
We're moving bikes up the Greenwich agenda. With a bit more joined up thinking, Greenwich could be cycle heaven. We've good working relationship with the Council's Cycling Officer, Dave Moorhouse, and are highlighting our priorities. The off-road routes along the Thames are a huge long term achievement for leisure cycling, but commuter, daily shopping, schools and other utility routes are still inadequate. The Council often makes the right noises, and now it needs to follow up, after consulting cyclists. We'll see Dave on a bike yet. Lots of work to do with the GLA and the Mayor of London on the main routes.
We've now done 5 rush-hour cycle counts in central Greenwich. Well over 300 bikes leave Greenwich via the Creek Road or the foot-tunnel every weekday between 7and 9am. The tunnel will get progressively busier at those new towers fill up. There are more in planning. The surveys help us make our case for more road, higher priority and better planning.
Ours are actually very useful, because they're by and for us, and wide open. We spend an hour making decisions, half an hour chucking ideas about, and then go for a drink, or two. First Wednesday, every month. 7.30pm. Greenwich Forum, 177 Trafalgar Road. We have smaller interim meetings as needed on projects, planning, fund-raising or whatever. We keep in very close touch with Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Cyclists, the London Cycling Campaign and other groups as necessary.
Next year will be about consolidation and concentrating on our main aims. We need to improve our liaison and influence with the Council, we need to grow and engage our membership, we need to raise more funds, and get more people on bikes. Above all perhaps, we need to get more people directly involved. We also feel very strongly that many people still do not realise what a difference a bike could make to their lives. We need to reach those people and those groups who are not yet cycling. We'll be doing rides every weekend and on light weekdays evenings. Apart from lots of local exploring and docklands rambles, we'll revisit Gravesend, Whitstable, Dungeness, Burnham-on-Crouch, Windsor, the Surrey/Kent hills, the Lea Valley and Brighton. If possible, we'll tailor a ride for you. If you want to lead or help organise a ride, great. Some really useful milestones for 2001 are in place already:
March: International Women's Festival. We've been awarded a grant to run a series of events and workshops by women for women.
Sunday 29 April, Cutty Sark, 10am: we're helping plan and organise the Mayor's Charity Bike Ride to Erith. It'll be big.
June: National Bike Week. A whole series of events. Primrose Hill summer solstice ride leaves Cutty Sark at 2am on Thursday 21 June. Book the day off now. Or get to work early.
July: Plumstead's Anti-Racist Festival. We'll have a stall and events.
21/22 July: the legendary Dunwich Dynamo
Saturday 22 September: European Car Free Day. We've detailed to the Council an exciting series of events for central Greenwich that day. We wait a response. The day coincides with London Open House weekend.
The Full Spin December
2 December: Docklands Explore, 10am Cutty Sark4: rush hour count/leaflet. 7am CS 6: monthly meeting. See above and below. A must.9: main road route survey. Waterloo to Greenwich. Barry for details.10: Dartford and over. 10am Cutty Sark17: Southwark Cyclists ride. 10am National Film Theatre19: Party with Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. Bread and Roses pub, Clapham. 8 till late.22: London Critical Mass. 6pm NFT26: ride? Subject to demand. Barry. Go on. 30: 10am CS: riverside to Erith, and beyond?
We've done a lot of talking in 2000 but think we've reason to be cheerful. We need support, criticism, help, money, you. As much or as little as you like.
First Wednesday. Every month. Greenwich Forum, 177 Trafalgar Road, Greenwich SE10 9EQ.Or .Co-ordinator Barry Mason 020 7232 0444 masonb@s... Planning co-ordinator Greg Englefield 020 8858 7982 englefield@h... Events organisers Duncan Brown duncan@o... Graham Johnson grahamjhnsn8@a... Website Beth Park Membership secretary Liz Delap liz.delap@d... Treasurer Eeva Berglund eeva@u... Minutes secretary Teresa Griffith Newsletter team Jeffrey Salway 020 8853 0431 jeffrey.salway@t... Nick Williams 020 8853 3947