Strategic Cycle Route gains traction and funding

Residents are being consulted on road safety improvements that have attracted a promise of £175,000 of new funding.

The Walker to City Centre strategic cycle route is the first of a series of planned cycle routes approved unanimously by City Councillors. The aim is to enhance road safety for pedestrians, cyclists and school children, especially along a stretch of Welbeck Road in Newcastle’s East End. New zebra crossings, more distinctive highway markings for residents’ car parking, and overall reductions in traffic speeds are key features of the scheme.

Other benefits include making it possible for more people from the East End to take part in healthy exercise and cheaper ways of getting from home to work. Local shops should also gain as cyclists tend to visit shops along cycle routes.

Sustrans, the leading UK charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make every day, has offered £175,000 of funding that would not otherwise have been available to the Council to progress the route.

Bill Dodds from the Newcastle Cycling Campaign, which has worked with the City Council Cycle Forum to develop the plan, said: “We support and welcome the proposals to improve cycling conditions – and indeed public realm in general – along the Welbeck corridor in Walker. This is excellent news for residents, shops and schools (amongst others) along that stretch, as well as local people of the surrounding wards and areas.

“The unanimous approval of the City Cycle Plan by City Councillors was heartening to witness early 2012, as was the endorsement by full Council of our Cycling Manifesto late 2011. The proposal in front of us is in line with both the plan and the manifesto.”

Coun. Henri Murison, Newcastle City Council Cabinet Member for Quality of Life, is backing the new cycle route and can be contacted for comment on 077 621 750 39