From: Newcastle Cycling Campaign
Date: 1 February 2013
Subject: “Welbeck Road Area – Proposed Cycle Lanes and Prohibition of Waiting”, ref GH/P44/951
Cc: Cllrs Todd, Murison, CTC, Sustrans
Following our email dated 16 December 2012, we, as an organisation representing 715 members, re-iterate our SUPPORT for the proposals to improve cycling conditions – and indeed public realm in general – along the Welbeck corridor in Walker. All our points stated in this previous reply remain. We would like to stress that all features including the mandatory bicycle lanes are road safety improvements that will benefit all road users in particular the most vulnerable ones.
We should not forget and remind the Council that protecting the most vulnerable is not only a core principle of the Labour administration but also a legal requirement laid out in the Equality Act 2010 “The basic framework of protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation in services and public functions; premises; work; education; associations, and transport.” There should be no discrimination on the grounds of transport choice.
Welbeck Road is a key arterial road in Walker. A working group open to all including local Councillors, met in March 2012 and recommended Welbeck Road as the preferred cycle corridor in Walker. A school report (http://bit.ly/WAMoKk) also identifies Welbeck Road as a key cycle route for children and teenagers. It is well recognised that the current layout is inadequate and needs to improve to make it safer and more attractive and this is precisely what the proposal seeks to address. As part of the Let’sTalk consultation in June and July 2012, the route was presented and 76% of survey respondents supported it, also including recommended ways to ensure the cycle route will be well used, such as bicycle lanes.
As previously communicated, we believe that the proposal could go much further: providing grade-separated space for cyclists (rather than a mix of mandatory and advisory lanes) and making junctions and crossings safer for cyclists.
It is our understanding that the scheme is to be funded through LTP resources, ring-fenced for cycling measures. No ward monies have been pledged or used. We have tragically lost £175k funding from Sustrans in support of the scheme due to delay tactics by misinformed local Councillors. It’s on these Councillors conscience that the realisation of the long-awaited road safety improvements is in jeopardy.
The Newcastle Cycling Campaign is available to make further representation in support of the scheme, if needed. Please note that, as a voluntary and community group, this will have to be arranged after 17:00.
Chair, Newcastle Cycling Campaign