Our reply to the recent TRO for the Monument Area of Newcastle City Centre
Regarding GH/P44/1055 – Monument Area
We are struggling to understand what problem(s) this TRO is attempting to resolve; the number of different parts that make up this TRO make it rather difficult to follow.
There are sections of this TRO that will make cycling in the city centre more difficult than it already is, and in places also includes changes that could make movement through the area as a pedestrian more difficult.
Some issues we were able to identify are:
I 2c – Currently it is possible to cycle on these sections, prohibiting all vehicles without a cycle exemption will reduce permeability for cycling
I 2g – It is not clear if cycles are exempt from this (yet section 2d does specifically state a cycle exemption). Cycles need to be exempt along the section covered by 2g
I 2i – While a closure to motor vehicles would be great here, cycle exemption is needed to maintain cycle permeability in the city centre
I 2j and 2k Cycles needs to be allowed in both directions along these sections.
I 2n and II 2c iii will lead to more vehicles using the junction at the southern end of Northumberland Street, an area where the council should be reducing the amount of motor traffic to make the area safer for pedestrians. To enable the closure of Hood Street with Grey Street to motor vehicles changes should be made on Pilgrim Street that direct people exiting the street south back to Market Street rather than make the area north of Hood Street busier.
In addition to this, there are sections of the TRO that seems at odds with the other work going on within the council to provide safe cycling facilities such as the provision of parking spaces on Market Street and Pilgrim Street. We recommend that council take a much more holistic look at people and vehicle movements in the city centre, including expanding pedestrianisation and private car access restrictions. This may then help with the overall problem identification and definition. And that, in turn, would assist the communication of the solutions (via a TRO, or by other means) too.
We struggle to see many positives for walking and cycling in this complex and confusing TRO.
It is for the above reasons that we OBJECT to the TRO as it currently stands. We ask that the council reconsider this TRO.
Documents to which this refers: