Tag Archives: Maryland

Maryland Point

30 Oct

Map of proposed Maryland ward

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has published its draft proposal for re-warding Newham and it represents a major victory for local campaigners in Maryland. They argued that their community deserved direct representation on the council and the Commission agreed.

When I wrote about the council’s own proposals I expected them to be accepted. I was mostly right – but also quite wrong.

The Boundary Commission has adopted the majority of Newham’s recommendations, but re-drawn the map in the north of the borough to accommodate a new Maryland ward, which extends from Leyton Road in the west to Field Road in the east and takes in the roads around UEL’s Stratford campus in the south. If adopted, it will elect three councillors.

As a result three other wards have significant changes. The proposed Stratford East Village ward is now smaller and renamed Olympic East Village; it will have two councillors. Forest Gate North is also smaller, having lost almost all of the streets off Forest Lane west of the community school. But it gains the parts of the Woodgrange Estate that currently sit in Forest Gate South. The redrawn FGN will elect two councillors. Forest Gate South, shorn of the Woodgrange Estate, the area around the UEL and streets west of Water Lane, is also reduced to two councillors.

Stratford Olympic Park ward will simply be known as Stratford.

For what it’s worth, I think the boundary between the proposed new ward and Forest Gate North is absurd. Even if you accept that Maryland is a distinct community (I am personally unconvinced) there is no way it extends almost the entire length of Forest Lane. A more sensible boundary would be the western edge of Forest Lane Park and the cemetery.

Fair’s fare for Maryland

11 Apr

Local campaigners and Forest Gate North councillor Seyi Akiwowo are calling on the mayor of London and the managing director of TfL to re-zone Maryland station.

Maryland is the only station in the Stratford area not to have been re-zoned to 2/3 in January. Asa result residents, many of whom are on low incomes, could end up paying over £200 more this year to use their local station compared to those living elsewhere in the area.

The campaigners have launched an online petition and they say:

Newham continues to be one of the most deprived areas of the country with household incomes among the lowest in London and while the 100,000 weekly users of the eight re-zoned stations in the Stratford and Newtown ward now benefit from cheaper travel, those living in Maryland do not. We believe this is unfair and we are asking the Mayor and Commissioner of TfL to include Maryland station in zone 2/3.

As a major transport hub Stratford station can get dangerously busy at peak times and with future residential and commercial development, including the exciting Olympicopolis scheme, set to bring thousands more people to the area the problem of overcrowding will only get worse. Maryland station is less than 10 minutes walk from Stratford, meaning it can help alleviate issues with passenger numbers, but will only do so if it offers a real and cost-effective alternative for those living and working in the east side of Stratford.

A station on the eagerly anticipated ‘Elizabeth Line’, Maryland will soon benefit from a £3m ‘facelift’ as part of Crossrail works, improving the station and its surroundings while helping give a much-needed boost to the regeneration of the area. To capitalise on this, residents and businesses must be able to use the station and cheaper zone 2/3 fares should help boost passenger numbers, offsetting potentially reduced TfL revenue, which in itself would be a very small part of the overall re-zoning initiative

Lyn Brown MP has already given her support and we are looking to Newham Council to include this as one of their priorities in 2016/17. We have also written to the London Mayoral and the City and East London Assembly candidates for their backing.

By supporting this petition you are helping the hard working individuals, families and businesses who want to use their local station without being penalised for doing so.

I’ve signed the petition and would urge readers to do the same.