13 February 2014
Sent to: Councillors from three wards, Newcastle North MP, cycle officer
We SUPPORT IN PRINCIPLE the creation of cycle-specific space on Great North Road, but we do question the adequacy of the strength of separation that’s proposed. We’d suggest that a cycle lane (space solely separated by a painted line) currently planned for West side (north of Park Avenue to Broadway) is not enough on a fast busy road like Great North Road that has an 85%ile speed of 37mph and two-way traffic flow of between 20,000 and 30,000 daily (up to or over 3,000 hourly peak).
This is especially the case as the route is specifically designed, as we understand it, with school kids in mind who would be on their way to various schools along the busy and rather aggressive Great North Road corridor. We’d suggest a cycle lane would form a weak point on the route. Design inconsistencies like this can naturally lead to inattentive behaviour through subjective feeling of safety and should hence be avoided in layouts.
Therefore we’d like to see a more consistent and stronger separation method on that stretch in particular, and ask the question why indeed it isn’t designed as a continued hybrid (or other type of physically separated-off) space. If residents / shops car parking were the reason, can the car parking be arranged along the street, with a parking-protected bike path behind?
We, as previously stated on various occasions, would like these kind of design proposals to be shared more frequently throughout the design process for comment, so that a traffic order does not come as a surprise, as is still the case now.