Newcycling joins forces with Living Streets to highlight the importance of humanisation of road crashes and urgent action on road environments.
In its vision for the city centre, 1Plan, Newcastle City Council states it wants a European, fair and inclusive city centre. Recent incidents however reported by the Chronicle and Journal make grim reading. Twenty pedestrians have been affected by road tragedies in just two years (1). The city centre is a place for people, and it’s high time we got serious about this.
Colin Green, chair of Living Streets Tyneside Area, says “Although there have been many improvements to Newcastle over recent years there are still a number of danger spots for pedestrians, most notably in Blackett Street, Market Street and St Mary’s Place. These are all capable of integration into the neighbouring areas to extend the safe and enjoyable streetscapes in the city centre and make Newcastle a more attractive and prosperous city.”
Katja Leyendecker, chair of Newcycling, says “We congratulate the Chronicle and Journal on reporting these unfortunate if entirely preventable incidents. We’d like everyone to please take this seriously, Cllr Nick Forbes, Chi Onwurah MP. We must point out that it is Newcastle City Council’s duty as the local highway authority to ensure vulnerable road users are safe. A safety campaign with more warm words and some checking of traffic lights is simply not enough. We need better road design, more pedestrianisation, further speed reduction – putting people first.
“Pedestrians are not well cared for in the city centre. They are lured onto the safe space that’s Northumberland Street, but then left totally abandoned at Barras Bridge and Pilgrim Street, as well as Percy Street. Market Street is like running the gauntlet with buses – you can guess who “wins”. We have it on good authority that many cyclists avoid the city centre altogether – which is a shame as it is otherwise such a successful place. On our roads and streets we are placed under council’s care and good logic sense. Dear Cllr Nick Forbes, as vulnerable road users, walking or cycling, we have a right to be looked after by your council.”
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Living Streets Tyneside Area and Newcycling are working together to make Newcastle a modern liveable city that puts people at its heart and can be enjoyed on foot and by bike. More about Living Streets Tyneside Area: http://www.livingstreets.org.uk/local-group/tyneside-area-living-streets-group