Road safety week – let’s stop the blame game

Newcastle City Council says it wants more people to cycle and travel more actively. And rightly so! Newcastle has an obesity crisis putting a crushing burden on health/wellbeing services. General inequalities are widening in the city too. Newcastle is becoming more divided. The construction of an inclusive transport system can level the playing field a great deal. So road safety should really not be allowed to drive people off the road. It should be about making the transport system inclusive and safe. Yet, many road and traffic schemes do not comply. Schemes branded cycling schemes repeatedly turn out to be[…]

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Visiting Dutch student – report

Koko Herder, a visiting Dutch student, has written a report on cycling infrastructure and its design process in Newcastle, and compared his findings to Rotterdam. The report speaks of the many tensions that exist in the design process in Newcastle and the resultant incomplete cycle infrastructure, especially by example of Great North Road (GNR). Koko says that the look, feel and use of cycling infrastructure are much more aligned in Rotterdam (using the theoretical assessment frame of Lefebvre’s triad). In his own words, taken from the research report: In the case of GNR, cycle spaces of representation are characterized by[…]

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Science Central West Development – Consultation reply

Did you know that Science Central, one of the key flagship developments within Newcastle city centre is aiming to be an exemplary site for sustainable urban development? In our reply to their Development Framework consultation, we remind the Council of their sustainable transport policies and recommend that they revisit their proposal for another car park and create cycling infrastructure linking up with the strategic cycle network.   “Dear Planning Policy team, The document states that a primary objective of the development is to “Establish Science Central as a site-wide test bed for exemplary sustainable urban development”, yet the document proposes the inclusion[…]

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Cycling & Society 2016 – our presentation

Today, Sally Watson, Committee member, presented findings from our NewcastleGateshead assessment at the Cycling & Society symposium in Lancaster. It’s a conference organised by academia, however it also is very welcoming and fosters close contact with cycle advocacy. Sally talked to the conference audience about the Local Plan, NewcastleGateshead’s planning policy. By looking at “push and pull” measures, Sally concentrated particularly on the plans for cycling infrastructure (pull) and car parking (push). She concluded the presentation with useful tips for campaigners and activists, and spoke about how to help shape political debate towards a better city. Here are the presentation[…]

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Newcastle council: can you deliver what you have promised – a better future city?

Newcastle council has agreed to go back to the drawing board with the Blue House roundabout, and is hopefully rethinking the full corridor in the process. In the light of this, we would like to explore how the council might use the evident public support for doing things differently, getting away from outdated methods of transport planning, and show true leadership to deliver change. Having carefully studied the council’s policies, there is certainly ample scope for this change to happen. Here we pose some questions to the council to help them direct their efforts towards meeting policy mandates. We would[…]

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After Blue House bungle, Patron Christian Wolmar writes to Newcastle leader Nick Forbes

Following the Blue House and Northern Access Corridor debacle Newcycling’s campaign patron the acclaimed transport journalist and writer Christian Wolmar sends on open letter to Leader of Newcastle City Council Cllr Nick Forbes: to inspire confidence at the council for the necessary transport transition ahead. Our patron explains and outlines what it feels and looks like to build worldclass cycleways looking at recent developments in London. Letter see newcycling website END

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Open Letter from our patron Christian Wolmar to Cllr Nick Forbes

Dear Nick (cc Chi Onwurah MP and Catherine McKinnell MP) I am writing to you as patron of Newcycling, Newcastle’s cycling campaign, with the hope to give support and confidence, and to inspire positive action. I have been carefully briefed by the Newcycling Committee of recent road building plans for Newcastle. There are opportunities. If there were any remaining doubts that good facilities attract people to cycle, what has happened in London over the past few weeks will allay them. The opening of several major sections of the Cycling Superhighways has transformed parts of central London into safe places to cycle[…]

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“No!” to the whole Northern Access Corridor

This is a reaction from newcycling.org to Council’s announcement (html, external) that it will scrap Blue House, but not Haddrick’s Mill Katja Leyendecker, chair newcycling.org, says “It’s great – one thing however is very worrying. It is the concept for the Northern Access Corridor, not just the Blue House location, that is flawed. To go ahead with Haddrick’s Mill is not right. In fact it makes stopping Blue House a sham. The whole concept of the corridor as a motorway-style through-route must be assessed and discussed. We ask council to think holistically and halt Haddrick’s Mill too.” Sally Watson, newcycling[…]

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FAQs – a reply to a reply

Newcastle City Council have released a FAQ document (pdf, external link) in response to the public outburst on the Northern Access Corridor (Blue House to Haddrick’s Mill) proposals. We had a quick look and have some comments: The structure Why were these questions chosen? Are they the ones most often asked? How was that determined? Is this list of 20 questions exhaustive? The public will not be able to check so we just went with the listing the council provided. But a lingering doubt remains, which is not an excellent start to reading a document that’s supposed to instil competence[…]

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