NewCycling (Newcastle Cycling Campaign) generally support the changes though we do have a few concerns that we would like to raise:
We feel that the possibility of creating a vibrant street scape that increases walking and cycling in the area has been watered down significantly since the plans were first drawn up, and this has been done to provide a small number of extra car parking spaces. We are very disappointed that this has happened.
- It is not clear how cyclists will exit Acorn Road on to Osborne Road, and likewise it is not clear how cyclists will enter Acorn Road from Osborne Road especially those heading south who will have to turn right on what is a busy road.
- Though the one way system will remove the east bound rat running traffic, the westbound rat running traffic will still remain. If westbound traffic volumes are too high then the contraflow may not feel safe enough for people to use.
- We feel that putting parking on the northern edge of the carriageway is not as safe for contraflow cycling as it would be on the southern edge, as drivers will have to drive across the potential contraflow cyclists (by turning right) and when exiting the parking space they will have less visibility of space they are entering as other vehicles may obscure what is approaching along the contraflow.
- Cyclists will have to share the carriageway with motor vehicles especially those heading west, it is still not clear what effect this scheme will have and there is potential that cyclist will get stuck in motor traffic at peak times, with no space to avoid the potential queues of traffic and the pollution from motor vehicles.
Monitor and review
To confirm we do generally support this scheme, however due to our concerns and as this scheme is different to anything else that currently exists within Newcastle we ask that the scheme is monitored and that it is openly reviewed after 6 months and that further future reviews also planned. Should any issues be identified that negatively affect pedestrians or cyclists the design should be altered to resolve the issues and improve the street for those who walk and cycle.