Skip to content

April 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to our April newsletter!

Cycling news

Cycling is an ideal form of transport for many key workers and for essential journeys during the Coronavirus emergency, because of its convenience, health benefits, and ease of social distancing.

(photo: family cycling on a road - credit: Cycling UK)Our campaigning may have slowed down in these unusual times, but we’ve been among the large numbers of people taking to Epping Forest’s newly quiet roads for our daily exercise. It’s been heartening to see so many bikes about, especially families with children, and it reinforces our view that, with the right infrastructure, cycling can become a top choice for people needing to get around in Epping Forest district.

Despite the disruption caused to everyone’s work and personal lives, we have been maintaining dialogue with key individuals at Essex County Council and elsewhere, making sure that the slow wheels of bureaucracy keep moving, at least a little!

Elsewhere, The Guardian reported this month that road markings are being redrawn in Germany to give cyclists more space to social distance in response to COVID-19 and the drop in motor traffic it has generated. Some roads are seeing a small minority of people driving at speed or dangerously, and now more than ever we need to keep cyclists and pedestrians away from hospitals to protect the NHS.

The London Cycling Campaign are calling for urgent action from the capital’s various highways authorities, and we think Essex County Council should be looking at emergency temporary measures, too.

Air Pollution

We have been amazed to read reports from London and around the world of levels of air pollution plummeting in response to the closing down of heavy industry and reduced vehicle movement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Motor traffic accounts for about 80% of nitrogen oxide emissions in the UK, and we’ve certainly noticed an improvement to air quality in Epping Forest district.

This crisis is a once-in-a-generation chance to reconsider the nation’s travel needs, and in particular the ‘avoidable car journey’. More than a third of car trips in the UK are under two miles, and more than 60 per cent of them are less than five miles. So let’s be inspired to help our communities change for good, so that our new, fresher, air endures.

Monthly meetings

In light of social distancing requirements, our meetings have been pushed onto Zoom. We hope to return to normal as soon as this is safe and possible. In the meantime, if you want to get involved, please do get in touch and we’ll tell you how to join in. Our meetings are the last Tuesday of every month, from 7:30pm, so the next one will be this Tuesday April 28th.

Loughton Eco-Fayre

Another postponed event! We were planning on holding a stall at St Mary’s Church on the High Road, and still plan to do so whenever the event is held. If you would like to help please get in touch!

Loughton Farmers Market

We remain committed to having a stall at the Loughton Farmers Market, we will publicise this when things return to normal and we are able to rearrange it.

And finally

If you live or work in Chigwell you might be interested in hearing from or joining Chigwell Climate Concern. They’re a small group for anyone in Chigwell worried about the climate emergency. Email or Twitter @chigwellclimat1.

Family on bikes in Epping ForestDo you follow EFTAG on Twitter? Find us @EFTAGroup. We retweet news and ideas about local, sustainable transport. If you tweet and would like a follow send us a mention or let us know in some other way.