Subject: Fwd: Regulatory and Appeals Sub Committee Hearing re Fenham Hall Drive – Proposed Cycle Lane
Cc: Cllrs Stockdale, Pearson, Risk, Ali, McCarty, Todd + Sustrans, CTC
Thanks for your email and the various attachments. We will not be able to make the appointment. As a group of volunteers, most of us are in full-time employment so that 13:00 is not a feasible time for us to attend meetings. Please allow us the following observation.
The officers’ objection rebuttal reads that parents have expressly stated that they want the cycle route to be ‘on the path’. We feel a degree of interpretation is necessary, and that parents have simply expressed that they want cycling to be safe, they’d value a safe cycle route and the current road conditions are not safe. It is crucial distinction to make. Were the consulted parents shown a range of different infrastructure options, or just asked for an opinion? If options were given did these include protected bike lane and segregated bike path options? This is important as their comment would certainly require a varying degree of interpretation depending on the approach.
If the Fenham Hall Drive scheme went ahead unchanged, we believe council runs a great risk of reputation damage with institutions like Department of Transport, the grant-making body for the £1.3m Gosforth Cycle Safety Improvement fund. At a time where council has to demonstrate partnering-up with cycling organisations such as the Newcastle Cycling Campaign, the current Fenham Hall Drive scheme could severely hamper future funding opportunities as Newcastle’s sincerity to provide for new and more vulnerable future cycling groups (younger, older and women groups) would be questioned.
We can provide a complete point-by-point written reply to the council report if you’d be prepared to read it out at the hearing in our absence. Or maybe you’d consider a reschedule for some time after 17:00. In the meantime, please consider the above risks that a go-ahead for the scheme as it currently stands presents.
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