City4Kids – Newcastle’s future

Newcastle Council are worried about families and young people leaving our city and with good reason too (see quotes from the Local Plan at end of this article). To address this problem, Newcastle needs to put younger generations at the heart of future plans. We believe that politics in Newcastle must change. Our politicians must start thinking about young families, and start talking about what the city should offer to our young people. This is our City4Kids initiative. What is it like to grow up in Newcastle as a young person? What is it like to bring up children here?[…]

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Streets for People or Streets for Cars? Newcastle, it’s time to choose

A whole-day event took place in the Civic Centre, on Saturday 11 March, bringing together groups from the three areas Newcastle Council has selected for its ‘Streets for People’ project. Residents and councillors from Jesmond, Heaton & Ouseburn, Fenham & Arthur’s Hill came to hear talks from Cllr Ged Bell (cabinet member for Investment and Development), Graham Grant (Head of Transport), Jon Little and John Dales (consultants from Phil Jones Associates). The presentations were inspiring and if these words can be translated into action we could achieve some great stuff with the £3 million set aside for this project. There[…]

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Newcastle – a working city?

Our city has strong working class and labour roots. Coming from the mining, steel and shipbuilding industries, we are of solid stock and history. We, at Newcycling, believe that is something to be rather proud of and should be celebrated much more than is currently done. We also must forge this heritage into a future for Newcastle. With this history in mind it is surprising however that our transport system does not cater much better for its working citizens, job seekers, school, college and university goers and the older population. Instead, the council, through using old-fashioned approaches to city planning,[…]

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Council Budget 2017/18 consultation – our reply

Dear Nick and Ged (cc Graham Grant) Our response to the Newcastle Budget 2017-18 will be short and based on previous years’ responses covering the budget periods 2013/16, 2015/16, and 2016/17. We have consistently asked for the Council to prioritise sustainable transport infrastructure and deploy resources accordingly. We still have to see a clear transition from investment into roads and motorised traffic to walking & cycling and public transport. Too often, the Council sends conflicting messages: supporting plans for additional car parking while building quality cycling cycleways in the city centre. How would people react to this, and how would[…]

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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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A visit to Waltham Forest’s Mini-Holland

The upcoming second phase of Newcastle’s Cycle City Ambition Fund includes plans to reduce traffic and improve conditions for walking and cycling in neighbourhoods close to the city centre. Jesmond, Sandyford, Heaton, Ouseburn, Fenham and Arthur’s Hill are all part of the ‘Streets for People’ initiative. These were in part inspired by plans in progress in London called ‘Mini-Hollands’. Waltham Forest is the first of these to get going and we thought that it would be good for a group from Newcastle to go and take a look at what they had done so far. I accompanied a group of[…]

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Our chair speaks at APPCG

In front of MPs, Katja spoke at a All-Party Parliamentary group meeting in London. On 29 November 2016 our chair attended the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group meeting. Her message was one of inclusion and empathy – as well as money and design. The slides are below. Katja leyendecker – presentation to APPCG 29 Dec 2016 from Northumbria University

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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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NEXUS consultation on new metrocar fleet design – our reply

Newcycling has replied to Nexus consultation on the new Metrocar fleet design.  Individuals can reply online up until the 2 December 2016 – your chance to also ask for a 21st Century design which meets future needs and allows normal bikes on metro: http://www.nexus.org.uk/consultation/item/tell-us-your-views-interior-design-future-metrocars “Dear Tobyn We are delighted to note the consultation for design of the new metro cars. We welcome this. However the online form is not really suitable for use of interest groups, due to the many personal preference questions in the survey. Hence us writing this email to you, I hope you don’t mind. Please could you[…]

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In Bremen – A View from Newcastle

Our very own Chair contrasts cycling in Newcastle with Bremen in Germany for the blog Breminize – blogging for a liveable city. Please note that the video embedded in the article is in German only. In the clip Katja speaks about Bremen infrastructure in quite critical terms. Even a Cycle City needs constant attention to design to ensure continued improvements.

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