Campaign calls for calm

Newcycling.org asks Newcastle Councillors of all parties to work together on transport matters for the common good.

This serious call is prompted by raging fights between Liberal Democrats and Labour. Recent doubt sown over consultation processes and even threatening legal action, both in Gosforth and Jesmond, have been to the detriment of the public these politicians are supposed to serve in the first instance.

Katja Leyendecker, chair of newcycling.org, says: “Transport is too serious a subject to afford this negative time and energy. Transport connects, it brings people together. The current transport system is bursting at the seams. We have got to get it right. Petty point scoring by parties betrays their own ward and residents, and works against the city’s interest on the whole.

“Constructing an inclusive and fair transport system that gives choice to the user is in the interest of Labour and Liberal Democrats. There are huge social plus points to be scored.

“Labour values of fairness and inclusion are met when cycling is offered: it’s value for money, personally inexpensive whilst efficient too. As for Liberal values: cycleways give personal freedom of choice and I am sure diversity is also something Liberals would not shun too much.

“And what about the obesity and other public health problems hurtling our way? Or Climate change? Never even mind the environmental benefits, air and noise, that building cycling into our transport system would set free. But sadly neither of the two parties talks about that much any more.

“But also the economic benefits to the city and individuals are enormous. If only Councillors could grasp that.”

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