Annual address – where is the red thread?

Since our beginnings in 2010, newcycling has always taken the long view. Our ambition has often resulted in bafflement and confusion at the council – supposedly because it was predicted that newcycling.org would be short-lived and soon to be subjected. But we stayed our course over the years, and kept asking “What city? Where is our story?” We asked for a citywide plan, not just piecemeal transport schemes a structured approach to the planning and building of a cycle network (protected cycleways on main roads!), firm budgets and clear engineering standards a movement plan encompassing public transport, walking and cycling[…]

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Thank you, Chi!

It was truly wonderful to welcome Chi Onwurah MP to our AGM. Since I was away for the AGM (and still am now), I nonetheless could enjoy reading her speech online here. After Claire cordially introduced Chi to the audience, our Newcastle’s Central MP took to the stage with much gusto. She was warm and genuine, her style engaging and she was really convivial and open in her address to the AGM audience. Chi outlined vividly the problems that exist in our city. She even seemed to understand them intimately, perhaps linked to recently taking up cycling herself after some[…]

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Urban design – how to include cycling

We are grateful to Newcastle City Council who took us up on our request to organise training for cycle infrastructure design. And wow – how John Dales (Urban Movement) and Brian Deegan (TfL) delivered! The planner-engineer duo presented three full-day sessions to a mix of officials and campaigners. The take home messages presented in many ways radical and engaging insights into the professional practice of managing traffic and urban space. Laced with personal stories and “tricks of the trade”, this course can only be commended for both its practical approach as well as its visionary outlook. The slides can be[…]

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A year of REAL debate

Another year has come to an end; and I will attempt to quickly write up some of my thoughts about the last 12 months. It was a year of extremes: a protected cycleway was finally built on John Dobson Street, but was darkly overshadowed by the horrendous road-building plans of the Northern Access Corridor. Campaigning was, more than anything, an emotional rollercoaster this year. Never mind the varying quality of plans, on the whole I simply wished council’s programme would have been clearer, better projected and outlined, as that would have given us more time to properly prepare our position[…]

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Joint letter to Newcastle and North Tyneside

Dear Mayor Norma Redfearn and Cllr Nick Forbes The previous devolution deal showed strong support for integrated transport in the region, but looked critically weak on active travel. There was no mention at all of the infrastructure investment required to support walking and in particular cycling as part of an integrated sustainable transport solution. We ask that Newcastle and North Tyneside negotiate to secure as part of its devolution deal an ambitious package for walking and cycling, and from this to commit the delivery of a £30 million strategic cycleway programme to be implemented over the next three years. As[…]

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Cllr Bell’s reply – what does it mean for a Cycle City?

I am hopeful in noting that Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet member of Newcastle council, kindly started his reply by thanking Sally for the sentiment and professionalism of her address to Full Council. By extension Cllr Bell thanks the newcycling Committee and our membership for the positive and constructive engagement our campaign group engages in. He then continues to congratulate us for staying on our stalwart course, pushing cycling up the agenda in Newcastle, and bringing rationale to the transport debate in our city. You can watch Cllr Ged Bell’s reply here (external link, youtube) We, together with our patron Christian[…]

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On yer bike, Pat, for Newcastle

Faithfully, since our foundation in 2010 I have been writing incisive (German!) messages, casting back and looking ahead. You are not spared this tradition at the start of 2016. On this occasion, it is a message that describes how council have been successfully scratching the surface. They are trying. So much so that council may have almost convinced some of you into thinking Newcastle is actually moving into a more sustainable transport direction with people, not cars, at the heart. To me, having observed and examined council’s goings-on for more than five years, this however only feels like tactics. Or[…]

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