Quality of life only with cycling

14.07.2012 PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Newcastle Cycling Campaign asks for political leadership and action, tells Newcastle Councillor responsible for cycling what exactly is needed, and expresses dismay towards recent road works in North Tyneside.

Katja Leyendecker of Newcastle Cycling Campaign said “Our politicians may talk about the importance of quality of life and fairness, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty, they simply don’t know what to do. Truth is, that you can have neither without a massive increase in cycling. People on bikes are like an indicator species for a good city. Build sensible cycleways and citizens will take to their bicycles – carry on as usual, and we’ll be sitting in a stinking gridlock forever more, coughing up the exhaust fumes and denying our children safe play space in the streets. The Campaign has also signed the Charter of Vancouver – children’s right to cycle (1). We’ve spelt out to Cllr Nigel Todd – responsible for city cycling – what must happen his year (2). We are awaiting Cllr Todd’s answer.

“We have also invited city bosses to a street talk and a panel debate, part of the Newcastle Bicycle Festival in September. How serious are they about turning Newcastle into a Cycle City and engaging with the cycling community? The European Green Capital assessment made Newcastle look like a backwater, highlighting the massive modal shift and political push that is required. We can provide the opportunities, offer our help, which we have done. It would be such a shame if all the positive talk turned out to be hot air. ”

Meanwhile in North Tyneside the council cabinet this week overrode objections from pedestrian and cycle groups to rubber stamp the reallocation of space to car parking on a key bridge into Whitley Bay.

Tom Bailey of Newcastle Cycling Campaign said “A recent safety report by consultants WSP (3) seems to call into question the design of this scheme. We are frankly very surprised at the way it has been interpreted by the Council. The report spoke of “traffic being squeezed together”, “HGV/Buses were observed to encroach into the opposing lane” and “drivers/passengers having to open their car door within the live carriageway”. It really isn’t clear now just how families are supposed to get in and out of Whitley Bay on bikes when the gateway to the town is made to look like this. The onus is now very much on the North Tyneside Council to come up with a solution.”

Contact Katja Leyendecker 07828 60 4349 or newcastle.cycling.campaign@gmail.com

(1) Charter of Vancouver http://newcycling.org/news/20120711/charter-vancouver-childrens-right-cycle
(2) Letter to Cllr Nigel Todd http://newcycling.org/news/20120711/weve-written-cllr-nigel-todd
(3) Marden Bridge Report http://newcycling.org/news/20120706/council-scheme-criticised-road-safety-report

Our previous press releases http://newcycling.org/press-releases