As a constituted community group with 1,600 local members we respond on their behalf to the plans for parts of Jesmond Dene Road. See bottom of page for the details of the council plans we are commenting on.
We strongly object to this proposal, for the reasons listed below:
Through discussions with newcycling.org members, council have previously attempted to provide explanations about this proposal. But we find a scheme that removes a cycle route to be completely flawed, from its outset. A proposal like this one should not exist in a city that claims it has ambitions to become a Cycle City. It shows only too clearly that the council have not seriously considered cycling as part of this scheme.
Removal of this vital link will severely sever the already fragmented inadequate cycle network in the Jesmond community. We would like to make you aware, as you should be already if a network approach had been taken, that there are no other reasonable North-South route alternatives for cycling in the local area. The proposal is detrimental to cycling not just in Jesmond, but to Newcastle as a whole as people beyond Jesmond are using this route. We should improve the current cycle network not dismantle it.
Furthermore, putting this into wider context, the proposal makes a mockery of all the other hard work that the council is carrying out attempting to improve cycle provision across Newcastle. It will also make a mockery of the warm welcoming words from Cllrs Forbes and Bell stating their vision for the development of a safe cycle network in Newcastle suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Please check our website where we keep track of political statements from the city’s key politicians or contact us, or the Councillors themselves, if in doubt.
We ask that the council to completely rethink this proposal to ensure that the final scheme provides for safe cycling (and walking) in both direction along this road and continues to provide this vital link in the network. This may require the complete removal of through motor traffic and creating a different solution to maintain access to the properties on this road (if the council is legally required to provide motor vehicle access to these properties).
We will continue to object to this scheme as long as a safe cycling link will not be provided in both directions along Jesmond Dene Road.
For serious lasting change that is suitable for cycling, a wider area assessment of vehicle movements, with a council commitment to remove rat-running motor traffic, is needed to make Jesmond work well for walking and cycling. We are yet to see a real prioritisation of walking and cycling over motor movements as demonstrated in this design. This is despite the user hierarchy, that is often quoted by council engineers, planners and road safety professionals.
Please have a look, again, at our policies explaining this further:
- Sustainable safety http://newcycling.org/sustainablesafety/
- Clarification to engineers http://newcycling.org/general-responses-traffic-orders/
In order to advance the discussion, expertise and knowledge, we would appreciate a meeting with highway & traffic engineers and transport planners so we can understand each other better in future. We urge council engineers to work with council planners, and vice versa.
Documents commented on: