Chronicle – 7 March 2023 (Daniel Holland)
Council bosses plan to install a new bus lane along the high street to replace the bollards, which were installed to create social distancing space in 2020
Gosforth High Street’s much-criticised bollards are set to be removed this month – but plans to replace them with a new bus lane have been labelled “extremely dangerous”.
Newcastle City Council has confirmed that it will at last get rid of the bollards that have provoked widespread frustration since they were installed in 2020. The changes were made as part of emergency measures during the Covid pandemic to provide more space for social distancing, cutting the road from four to two lanes to help cyclists and pedestrians.
But the council’s initial plans to redesign the busy route will instead see a new bus lane installed along the length of the high street, which has provoked a backlash from campaigners. Local authority Labour chiefs had pledged meaningful talks with locals over how to reinvigorate the struggling Gosforth High Street late last year, having provoked ire when news of their proposals first emerged last September, but have now been accused of “empty promises”.
Sally Watson from Newcastle Cycling Campaign, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that she was “completely baffled”. She said: “On paper this looks extremely dangerous – removing the protection for cycling space is a serious retrograde step. We have asked repeatedly for the protection to be maintained and improved and make another plea for this. People’s safety should not be sacrificed for aesthetics.”
Labour councillor Jane Byrne, the council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “By improving public transport, we can improve connectivity to the high street and city, which will encourage people out of their cars and help clean up our air. We will also be looking at improving connectivity to the high street as part of the next phase of works, with better walking, wheeling and cycling provision.
For the full article, go to: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/gosforth-high-street-bollards-removed-26408295