Newcastle citizens may have noticed. Over the last few months, Newcastle council ran a Streets for People project. Through local engagement efforts and specialist consultants, neighbourhood streets were critically assessed, and changes debated in three areas: Jesmond, Heaton/Ouseburn and Fenham/Arthur’s Hill.
Yes, we like to see more local engagement and expert assistance, however this does not distract from the current situation: Newcastle seemingly does not have a movement plan for its neighourhoods or its city road network. Lacking such a plan, it will remain difficult for us to comment on any scheme, as it essentially sits floating in a vacuum – when the reality is starkly different: streets are parts of a connected system with various strains on its use and mobility. A movement plan would classify streets and assign social values to them. We repeat our call for a movement plan, so we can intelligently discuss citizens’ right to their city and streets as well as purposefully comment on future schemes.
We have provided comment on the three on-going Streets for People schemes here.