Cyclists’ fury as Gosforth High Street bollard removal plans branded ‘massive backwards step’

Chronicle – 23 September 2022 (Daniel Holland)

Campaigners have claimed the plans “won’t help reduce pollution” or bring in more shoppers

Long-awaited plans to redesign Gosforth High Street have been branded a “massive backwards step” by furious cycling campaigners.

Newcastle City Council announced on Thursday that it plans to remove the much-criticised bollards that have lined the high street for two years and install wider pavements, promising a more “people-friendly” area with new seating and greenery. But the proposals were met with an immediate backlash over a lack of any dedicated space for people on bikes.

While campaigners had hoped for a dedicated cycleway running the length of the high street, they fear the council’s latest plans would in fact remove existing cycle lanes at its southern end to make way for an extended bus lane. Sally Watson, of the Newcastle Cycling Campaign, called the move a “massive backwards step”.

She added: “It is not going to be a nice high street for people to spend time on because it will still have a huge amount of traffic. As a pedestrian, the thing you want there is to not have to wait for a minute for the lights to change so you can cross the road – I don’t think that is going to change.

“If you are bringing up a family in Newcastle then this is a massively negative thing. It is all about through traffic, not about local people.”

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