Back in April Newcastle City council published their bid for the Cycle City Ambition Fund (CCAF) and in August nearly £6million was awarded to the council. This money has to be converted into changes on the ground by 2015. A tall ask!
Newcastle’s bid promises stretches along four of the seven Strategic Cycle Routes (SCRs) to be completed, see below. It also includes the north-south link between Newcastle and Gateshead (Great North Cycleway) linking student accommodation at Gateshead’s Trinity Square to the campuses in Newcastle. Road and street environments in a number of communities are also to be improved for walking and cycling, such parts of Ouseburn and Jesmond, using a community-led approach called ‘DIY Streets’.
Given the enormity of the task in hand, progress has to be made quite quickly… the Technical Group, we contribute to, has met a number of times and various options for the SCR stretches are on the table or under development. Currently Brandling Park on the Gosforth SCR is debated. Brandling Park is where we would really like to see a ‘Cycle Street’ – a street or road where the bicycle is the favourited on-road transport mode. Presto, a collaborative European Project, describes Cycle Streets as “a road so designed that cyclists dominate visually and motorized traffic is tolerated as a guest” – for more detail, see attached briefing below. We think a Cycle Street would work on Brandling Park as motorised traffic levels are sufficiently low, cycle traffic is quite high as its a popular route, it’s not a through route (rat-run) and road space can be freed up by rationalising on-street car parking. If it does come off, it would be the first Cycle Street in the UK, we believe, giving Newcastle something to celebrate.
Once things have moved on further and decisions are made, we’ll report back to you.
These are the four SCR stretches that Newcastle City Council have promised to complete by 2015
Could Brandling Park be a Cycle Street?
Newcastle’s full CCAF bid can be found here