Newham Cyclists ‘Living Streets’ public meeting

Rachel writes…

Newham Cyclists (whom avid readers of this blog might remember as the group who got Seyi onto a bicycle….!) are holding a public meeting on Monday at the Wanstead Tap. I have given a link to their flyer at the bottom of this post, but here is all the relevant information:

‘PUBLIC MEETING
Monday 2nd November 2015 7pm at The Wanstead Tap
(Arch 352, Winchelsea Road, E7 0AQ)

Please come along and join us for this public meeting where Jack Skillen, London Director of Living Streets will be talking to us about the benefits of creating a “walking nation”.

Living Streets is the UK charity for everyday walking. We want to create a walking nation where people of all generations enjoy the benefits that this simple act brings, on streets fit for walking www.livingstreets.org.uk

I will be attending the meeting for various reasons. The first being that Newham Cyclists are a very pleasant, committed bunch of people some of whom I’ve been in contact with variously and individually but not met officially face to face yet and I’d like to see them and find out more. The second being that the Wanstead Tap is an extraordinarily great place, and worth a visit generally (if you’re reading this, and you’ve not been, I highly recommend a visit. Go to buy craft beer, and stay for the tea and the cakes, and lately also a weekend range of toasties).

But I am mainly going because I increasingly believe that the only sustainable way forward is for us to all, where we’re able to, walk and cycle much, much more. I think in everything we do, as a council but also as individuals and community groups, we need to provide opportunities for people to walk and cycle, and to create physical spaces that make this as safe and easy as possible.

I think this for a whole host of reasons, including climate change and pollution, but also for reasons of physical health, mental health, community building, and general pleasantness of our surroundings! And I am looking forward to finding out more about how we can help to make this happen, and to turn what is at the moment my ‘general feeling’ about the desirability of this into something a bit more concrete that I can learn more about.

I am interested generally in how this happens, but also am increasingly aware that it might be difficult. The consultation over some early ideas about the Quietway through Forest Gate North, and some of the opposition currently going on to ‘Mini Holland’ in Walthamstow have helped me to realise that there are a whole range of people who don’t feel the same way as I do. If that includes you then please do talk to me about it – I’m keen to understand your concerns and where you are coming from.

I also know from experience that a desire to cycle isn’t quite the same as putting it into practice. I have now owned my own bike for a year, and in that time have used it, I think, on two occasions. Largely due to my own laziness, I confess, but there you have it. Rome wasn’t cycled across in a day, as they say.

If you’re interested at all in walking and cycling, and in finding out more about Newham cyclists or Living Streets, do come along on Monday to the Newham Cyclists meeting. And if you see me there, please do say hello.

Living Streets flyer 1
(on a related note, if anyone knows how to easily insert a pdf into a WordPress post as an image, I would be very glad to hear from you! In the meantime, my apologies.)

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