Epping Forest Transport Action Group (EFTAG)
Dear subscriber,

Welcome to our summer newsletter on all things "better transport" in Epping Forest.

Summer cycle ride - this Saturday!

The EFTAG summer ride is this Saturday 17 July.

We are meeting at 10am in the Maypole pub car park in Lambourne Road, Chigwell Row IG7 6DD.

It's about 14 miles each way, mainly on quiet lanes and over the easiest hills, with a stop for lunch at Blackmore Tea Rooms.

Please drop us an email on cycling@eftag.org.uk if you’re able to come along, so we know to look out for you!
Cake at Blackmore Tea Rooms

Safer streets campaigning

Last month, Jack wrote a “rubbish infrastructure of the month” blog post highlighting another hostile road in Loughton, this time Willingale Road and its chicanes.

On 11 June we met with the new Highways portfolio holder at Essex County Council, Councillor Lee Scott. A former MP for Ilford North, and in May elected to represent the county division of Chigwell and Loughton Broadway, he’s extremely keen to get active travel higher up the agenda in our area, and we are determined not to miss this excellent opportunity. We’re meeting again soon, in person, to highlight some examples of what’s been going wrong, and flag the potential for better cycling and walking infrastructure.

Buses and electric vehicles

In other Essex County Council news, the Cabinet has endorsed a Enhanced Bus Partnership which commits them to a bus service improvement plan by October and a full Enhanced Partnership Plan with operators by April 2022. This creates an opportunity to make much-needed improvements in multi-operator ticketing, bus emissions, customer experience and information, more logical timetables and more.

We’ve also had positive discussions with Epping Forest District Council officers about their plans to create a network of electric vehicle charging points across the district. They’re looking especially at areas where key high local mileage drivers live, including licensed minicabs, delivery drivers and self-employed van users. There’s a risk that on-street electric charging can block pavements, and on some streets might make it impossible to build safe cycling infrastructure, so we hope these plans are taken forward carefully.

And lastly on buses: free annual membership for the @EfctEpping #DaRT87 bookable bus service is still available to all concessionary bus pass holders until 31 July. See EFDC’s web site or call 01992579566 for more details.

Transport in the Forest

In June we met with the Epping Forest Consultative Committee for the first time. Thanks to our supporters signing up to be members of EFTAG, we’ve been given a fantastic opportunity to influence how the Conservators manage the Forest. It’s increasingly clear how important sustainable transport is to protecting the history, nature and recreational value of the landscape which is at the very heart of what makes this area special. You can read more about the meeting on our web site, and please do get in touch if you have a point of view you’d like to make sure is represented.

The District Council are also following up with the Conservators on improved bus stops; safer road crossings at key access points for bus users, walkers, cyclists and horse riders; and long-term planning for non-car-based access. The potential for bus operators to step up on tourism/day trip promotion, lower emission buses, and ‘bikes on buses’ as seen in National Parks is very exciting!

Coming up

We’re currently looking across the district at potential locations for school streets. We’ll also be revising our core cycling network proposals in order to encourage district and county councils to work together on a Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plan. If you can help with any of these things please do drop us an email!

In Autumn we’ll be looking to hold our Annual General Meeting. If you’re able to get more involved we’d love to hear from you in advance, otherwise watch this space for location (likely online!) and a date.
Thanks for reading, please stay in touch!

The EFTAG newsletter Team