AGM 2017: Our Network Workshop

The Task

As part of the AGM we held a workshop looking at the cycle network in and around the Streets for People areas. Urban Movement, Phil Jones and Associates and Newcastle City Council provided us with maps covering the three areas Jesmond, Fenham, and Heaton and Ouseburn. The map below outlines the areas being covered.

Street For People Areas

Streets for People areas

The maps provided indicated a routes that started to demonstrate a potential cycle network. The map for Fenham provided different types of routes (this map can be viewed here(.pdf)) and the other maps showed the routes with no differentiation between them. The routes from all the maps has been condensed to one map below.

Workshop Original Routes

Original Routes provided for the workshop

In the workshop people were split into groups and asked to look at maps for the areas they knew best. They were asked to study the maps, add additional routes where they felt they were needed, and to write any comments they had on the paper maps. When drawing routes, people were asked to use their imagination: not what currently their preferred route is, but where the preferred routes should be if it was safe and comfortable for cycling.

Following the workshop we have collated all the responses on to a google map.

The image below shows the original routes with all the other added routes from every group combined.

Workshop combined routes

Map showing the original routes and the combined added routes

There were many comments added too, these can be viewed on an interactive map (along with all the other layers shown above) here.

Findings

Having Streets for People (a council-community initiatitive) look at specific areas of the city seems to help people focus on what could be changed within and around the limited areas. From the results of the workshop, this can be seen through the majority of the recommendations and comments being made within the areas. But peoples’ day to day business is not constrained to specified areas, and in addition to the focus on the Streets for People areas, people added further routes joining the Streets for People areas up to the city.

There were some people who made it clear in their comments, that they would like to see as much thought given to places outside the current Streets for People area:

“The maps provided had no indication of routes to the East.”

and

“Areas like Elswick and Byker under represented”

From numerous groups there were some features that people made clear they wanted connections to:-

  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Hospitals
  • Large employment sites
  • and local shopping areas

Overall the focus from Streets for People has potential to start creating liveable areas where walking and cycling is comfortable and safe for everybody. Improving the design of streets through this workshop would provide a good start in making this possible. Through the workshop people have shown that to be highly effective a high density cycle network is required, that links up all areas of the city and beyond.

We would like the council and their consultants to take the workshop findings on board, and tell us about the next steps of their Streets for People project. We are also keenly aware that the Strategic Cycle Routes are awaiting ackowledgement by the council – so much so that we made a campaign prioritity again.