Our first policy – Sustainable Safety

At the Committee meeting on Monday 23 June 2014 we adopted our first policy covering ‘Sustainable Safety’. We want to use Sustainable Safety more, as it offers a positive attitude to creating space for cycling which is such an important ingredient in every liveable city. Sustainable Safety also tackles road safety with a can-do attitude, unlocking and enabling cycling and walking. It does that by respecting user needs and taking a look at the full road network, not just little pockets of improvements. Sustainable Safety is not immune to the vagaries of political power. We believe, nonetheless, that using the[…]

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Charting cycling on the political agenda

A map, see (1), has been released this week charting the political support for Space for Cycling in Great Britain. Newcastle has 36% of councillors in favour, and is runner-up following London, where 43% of councillors are supporting the national campaign. Katja Leyendecker, chair of Newcycling, Newcastle’s local cycling campaign, says: “Newcastle, for once, is top of the league, and for a good reason! We at Newcycling are hard-liners, not one for compromising, and it would be a rare occasion we congratulate our councillors – but this must be one. Over a third of Newcastle councillors, see below, have supported[…]

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Ambition programme wildly off track

Newcycling warns this week that Newcastle council risks serious ridicule. This comes after the group have carried out a progress assessment of the Cycle City Ambition Fund, see (1 and 4). Many projects are more than a year behind schedule leaving £1m project spend at risk and many more millions of pounds undeclared. Newcycling, Newcastle’s cycling campaign, recently addressed Newcastle council’s Cycle Forum to make the case for better collaboration, design and planning, see (2). Katja Leyendecker, chair, says “We want Newcastle’s excellent and ambitious policies of a better fairer city to be implemented, better sooner than later. So it’s[…]

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Strategic Cycle Routes – progress assessment

About a year ago Newcastle was granted £5.6m from DfT to make the city fit for cycling, or at least make a good start towards it. The City Cycling Ambition Fund (CCAF) was awarded to cities which demonstrated the ambition to build quality cycle infrastructure and re-allocate road space for bikes to enable new people to cycle and a positive modal shift away from the car. The funding has to be spent by March 2015 and four SCRs, at least in part, were to be built. Scott, and sometimes Kat, have attended the fortnightly Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meetings since[…]

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NewcastleGateshead’s Roads to Nowhere

We would like to publish the excellent statement by the Green Party on NewcastleGateshead Core Strategy Examination and Transport Policy. The strategy sets the vision for our city and region for decades to come. The Green Party’s reply sits snugly with our views. We thank the Green Party for these astute observations, to make public these salient points about the councils’ plan on rampant road building and how it will impact on everyone. Or like Lewis Mumford would say: adding highway lanes to reduce traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to cure obesity. Headlines • Planned new roads and[…]

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Jesmond cycling improvements – an update

In November 2012, Newcycling’s Jesmond branch received a response from the city council to cycling plan for Jesmond we had carefully put together. We ask what progress has been made in the last nineteen months? To remind ourselves, among the requests which were considered for approval, funding allowing, were • dedicated cycle space on Osborne Road, between Clayton Road and Jesmond Road for starters • a right turn junction from Osborne Road to Haldane Terrace • improvements at the junction of Forsyth Road / Brentwood Avenue • investigating traffic calming options for Highbury (depending on a speed survey which was[…]

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DfT – TSRGD 2015 consultation

To a call by the DfT consultation on the revised Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2015 Newcycling (Newcastle’s cycling campaign, 1,300 members, volunteer organisation, constituted, formed in 2010) would like to respond to your request about views. Our views on consultations like this one are reached by way of a Committee, formed to uphold aims, objects, vision and reputation of the organisation. You state that “the draft has been put together following intensive consultation with stakeholders over the last few years” – the landscape is fast changing in relation to cycling, walking and their vital contribution to liveable cities,[…]

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Road safety campaigns are pointless if we are not prepared to rethink road designs

Changing people and their behaviour is one aspect of road safety campaigns, but the real key to reducing death and injury is in understanding why this behaviour occurs in the first instance, and tackling these tragedies by removing flaws in the road design. Newcycling congratulates Northumbria Police on Operation Dragoon, see 1), taking care of Education and Enforcement, albeit temporarily as a time-limited project. Yet, the group advises that the Engineering element – the third big E of a holistic road safety approach – is missing. A Freedom of Information request showed that Newcastle is not taking sufficient action on[…]

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