On 10th November we were asked to respond to more draft plans for Jesmond by the Council’s Community Engagement Officer for Streets for People. We responded on 25 November 2018:
We are extremely pleased to see that the plans for Jesmond are of such high quality and, in fact, go above and beyond those drawn up by Phil Jones Associates. We have some very minor comments, which relate more to detail than to substance and hopefully these will be useful for the designers. We hope that these plans will also be going to the Technical Advisory Group (for cycling schemes) for comments.
Removing the left turn onto the Great North Road will make crossing Moorfield from Little Moor and cycling along the strategic route on Moor Road South much safer and more pleasant. It will discourage through traffic in an area which has high numbers of cyclists and many, particularly children, pedestrians. The tightening of Lodore is also welcomed as the current design is excessively wide. It is good to see that cycling is introduced on part of Ilford Road but we still feel that the junction with Moorfield does not offer adequately safe cycling conditions or safe pedestrian crossings. In particular, the view to the left down Ilford Road when approaching from Moorfield (west) is still obstructed by parking. It would be good to see a future plan addressing the speed and volumes of through traffic on Ilford Road. We agree with others that the raised tables at side roads would be more useful on St George’s Terrace where there is higher footfall.
We are very pleased to see the introduction of a modal filter here. This will help reduce speeds and volumes of traffic in this area which has high pedestrian footfall, particularly school children. We would prefer to see a filter which also allowed pedestrians to cross because this area is heavily parked up at school drop off and pick up times. Would it be possible to add greenery here? Possibly in the form of SUDS? Cycle parking would also be beneficial here because adults can then leave a bike on this side of the footbridge while they carry a child’s bike over the bridge.
Osborne Road (northern end)
We welcome the introduction of a crossing at this point and some limited cycling infrastructure. We have commented on this scheme previously and will not add anything further at this stage.
Osborne Road (southern end)
This is an excellent proposal. Closing Haldane Bridge to motor traffic and adding cycle lanes on this stretch of Osborne Rd will make this a viable cycling route for all ages and abilities. We welcome all of the changes to signals on Osborne Rd and are particularly pleased to see that all cycle crossings will be signalised. We also welcome the addition of a zebra crossing for those people who were previously used to crossing at that point. Adding a zebra crossing here sends a strong signal that the council are serious about walking and about creating an attractive and safe environment on Osborne Rd. Cycle lane on Eslington Terrace sensibly links up with previous work in Brandling Village. There are still issues on the junction of Clayton Road and Eslington where it is difficult for both pedestrians and cyclists to cross.
Forsyth Road/Tankerville Terrace
We are pleased to see an ambitious scheme for this area. The one way will simplify traffic movements and reduce traffic outside the school. Cycle lanes will enable more children to cycle to school and reduce the likelihood of conflict between cyclists and pedestrians. Introducing a modal filter on Brentwood South will reduce traffic and create a safe crossing place for pedestrians. Widening the pavement on the school side would improve this scheme as would the addition of cycle parking close to the footbridge. There is less need for a pavement on the side furthest from the school. It is also good to see a link to the strategic cycle route on the Gt N Road. Care will need to be taken in designing junctions to avoid dangerous points where cycle lanes end. There is a possibility that the introduction of the one way on Forsyth Road will lead to more traffic using Highbury, which is currently a strategic cycle route. We hope that this would be monitored and that changes to both Lyndhurst and Forsyth metro bridges would be considered in the future to address this. Cycling across both of these bridges is currently very dangerous and there have been a number of collisions on Forsyth Rd bridge in the past few years, including a car driving into the bay window of a house.
To sum up, we are extremely pleased to see the council producing really ambitious plans for Jesmond. Not only do they benefit walking and cycling in specific locations, when grouped together they form the foundations of a real network for this area.