Our 2021 New Year message to city leaders

In January we wrote to the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Members for Transport & Air Quality and Climage Change & Communities. We commended them on their work to develop better walking and cycling infrastructure in the city in response to the pandemic and called for a new collaborative approach to working with walking and cycling advocacy groups. You can read the full letter here: Dear Cllr Forbes, Cllr Ainsley and Cllr Penny-Evans A belated Happy New Year from the Newcastle Cycling Campaign committee! 2020 was a very challenging year and we want to thank you for your efforts[…]

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North East Transport Plan consultation: Action for members!

The North East Transport Plan consultation is open until Thursday 14 January 2020. This is the first region-wide transport plan and sets priorities up to 2035. We welcome the development of the plan and we are commending political leaders on the vision statement and objectives (see page 6 of the plan). However the content of the plan does not support this vision and fails to set out the transformative interventions and the “standard” to deliver a green, healthy, dynamic and thriving North East. It is important that you respond to the consultation and make your voice heard in support of active travel. Please[…]

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Local organisations back Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

The Newcastle Cycling Campaign is one of 10 community groups in Newcastle and North Tyneside who, along with around 120 other organisations from across the UK, have signed a national statement calling on leaders of councils to take action to roll out more low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs). The statement says: “Now more than ever we need safe and spacious routes for walking and cycling to stop the air and noise pollution, and danger that traffic inflicts on our neighbourhoods… That’s why we welcome the leadership of councils who are working tirelessly to make sure changes to streetspace aren’t lost as[…]

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A ‘gear change’ for walking and cycling: UK government announces ambitious plans

On 28th July, the government published its plans to get Britain cycling Gear change: A bold vision for cycling and walking. Successive governments have made such announcements, but this time it looks like they really mean it. This article summarises the main points of the report. Accompanying the report is long-awaited updated guidance for designing cycling infrastructure (LTN 1/20). These two documents are ground-breaking in their ambition and a must-read for anyone who is interested in making better towns and cities. Here in Newcastle we have experienced first-hand the problems of short-term funding, lack of design guidance and difficulties in[…]

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‘It no longer looks like a car park’ – praise for huge Grey Street changes to cut down on traffic

Chronicle – 7 August 2020 (Daniel Holland) Parking bays and a lane of traffic have been removed from Newcastle’s most beautiful street to make way for cyclists, pedestrians, and more pavement cafes A major redesign of Newcastle’s most iconic street to cut down on city centre traffic has been applauded by local businesses and cyclists. Huge changes on Grey Street were introduced last week – removing most of its parking bays and restricting traffic to southbound only to create extra social distancing space for pedestrians, pavements cafes, and a new cycle lane. The Georgian street, once named the best in[…]

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‘Ludicrous’ or ‘wonderful’? Reaction from day one of Newcastle rat run bridge closures

Chronicle – 13 August 2020 (Daniel Holland) Newcastle City Council closed five bridges in residential neighbourhoods to traffic on Thursday morning, in an experimental move that has sparked fierce debate in recent weeks. Controversial traffic bans on five Newcastle bridges have come into force – and were met with a mixture of anger, joy, and calls for constructive talks after weeks of fierce debate. Traffic cones and closure signs appeared on Thursday morning in the first stage of Newcastle City Council’s plans to cut rat-running by shutting five crossings to traffic – Salters Bridge in Gosforth, Castle Farm Road next[…]

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New images reveal how five rat run Newcastle bridges could look after vehicles are banned next week

Chronicle – 7 August 2020 (Daniel Holland) Newcastle City Council is set to close five crossings in residential neighbourhoods to vehicles from next Thursday, August 13, in an effort to cut pollution and create safer space for walking and cycling. The affected sites will be Salters Bridge in Gosforth, Castle Farm Road next to Jesmond Dene, Haldane Bridge in Jesmond, the Argyle Street Bridge near Manors Metro station, and Stoneyhurst Bridge in South Gosforth. The Stoneyhurst closure in particular has sparked a fierce debate among locals, some of whom fear that cutting off access will lead to heavy congestion on surrounding roads.[…]

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Councils urged not to back down amid anger over huge road changes to boost walking and cycling

Evening Chronicle – 17 July 2020 (Daniel Holland) Opposition from motorists and businesses has led campaigners to fear that emergency overhauls of busy streets across the region could be watered down or scrapped Campaigners are pleading with North East councils to not back down over emergency walking and cycling measures being installed, amid mounting objections from motorists and businesses. Busy roads across the region are seeing major changes to help pedestrians and cyclists get around while safely social distancing, with highway space and parking for vehicles reduced or road traffic completely banned. … Sally Watson, from the Newcastle Cycling Campaign,[…]

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North Tyneside schemes for #SpaceForDistancing and #activetravel

What has happened Not so far from Newcastle, North Tyneside Council is also making use of the government funding to put in place temporary measures across the borough to create space for distancing and increase active travel. These are progressive and more ambitious than anything that Newcastle has proposed yet and could prove to be transformative for the coast both in terms quality of life for its residents and as an attractive destination for visitors. Here we look at what their plans are and how they are getting on with it. Phase 1 plans were publicly announced on 11 June[…]

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What do we know about Newcastle City Council’s #SpaceForDistancing plans?

The Government has now announced the successful funding bids for measures to make walking and cycling safer in response to COVID-19. They state that there is an urgent need to keep people cycling: The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has had a terrible impact on the lives and health of many UK citizens, as well as severe economic consequences. But it has also resulted in cleaner air and quieter streets, transforming the environment in many of our towns and cities. And millions of people have discovered, or rediscovered, cycling and walking. In some places, there’s been a 70% rise in the number[…]

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