Council comes under fire for scrapping plans to boost cycling in Newcastle

Evening Chronicle – 10 January 2019 Newcastle Cycling Campaign members say they are ‘disappointed’ after the plans were scrapped. Sally Watson said: “”The most recent of these is Barras Bridge, where cycling has been quietly removed from plans. We recently wrote to Coun Arlene Ainsley, cabinet member for transport and air quality, to express our concerns. We are still awaiting a response to this letter.” https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/council-comes-under-fire-scrapping-15652798

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Open letter to Cllr Arlene Ainsley, cabinet member for Transport and Air Quality

Newcastle’s new cabinet member for Transport and Air Quality, Cllr Arlene Ainsley, has now been in post for over a year. On 7th November 2018 she delivered a report on transport and air quality to the council. We have a number of questions to raise with the council in relation to this report and have written to Cllr Ainsley: Dear Cllr Ainsley We read with great interest your report on transport and air quality, which you delivered to full council on 7th November 2018. It is fantastic to see you acknowledging the important part cycling infrastructure can play in improving[…]

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Streets for People or Streets for Cars? Newcastle, it’s time to choose

A whole-day event took place in the Civic Centre, on Saturday 11 March, bringing together groups from the three areas Newcastle Council has selected for its ‘Streets for People’ project. Residents and councillors from Jesmond, Heaton & Ouseburn, Fenham & Arthur’s Hill came to hear talks from Cllr Ged Bell (cabinet member for Investment and Development), Graham Grant (Head of Transport), Jon Little and John Dales (consultants from Phil Jones Associates). The presentations were inspiring and if these words can be translated into action we could achieve some great stuff with the £3 million set aside for this project. There[…]

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A visit to Waltham Forest’s Mini-Holland

The upcoming second phase of Newcastle’s Cycle City Ambition Fund includes plans to reduce traffic and improve conditions for walking and cycling in neighbourhoods close to the city centre. Jesmond, Sandyford, Heaton, Ouseburn, Fenham and Arthur’s Hill are all part of the ‘Streets for People’ initiative. These were in part inspired by plans in progress in London called ‘Mini-Hollands’. Waltham Forest is the first of these to get going and we thought that it would be good for a group from Newcastle to go and take a look at what they had done so far. I accompanied a group of[…]

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Cycle City Ambition Programme 2 – summary and questions

One year on, we have a look at the Cycle City Ambition Fund 2 (CCAF2), its general content and feasibility. The CCAF2 documentation was put together by the City Council a year ago. It was approved by the Department for Transport (DfT) shortly thereafter. Newcastle Council did not contact us to collaborate or allow us to help shape the input and direction of the bid. Despite newcycling being a strong transport and cycling stakeholder we were given no involvement whatsoever in the content, quality or its ambition. Based on our experience of the last two years of CCAF1 delivery and many[…]

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City Centre Infrastructure Safari Walk

After cycling the 7 Strategic Cycle Routes (SCRs) over the last two summers, we’re completing our first series of infra safaris with Newcastle City Centre and we hope you can join us. We will meet outside the Central Station main entrance, at 10:00am. We will walk rather than cycle across the city centre and stop at different areas of interest to discuss the use of public space, the road layout as well as observe the movement of people and motorised traffic. The walk should not take longer than three hours. Join us for all or parts of it, or meet us afterwards[…]

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Newcastle disconnected on transport matters

The campaign groups newcycling.org is unsatisfied with the state of transport affairs at Newcastle City Council. Whilst some matters are slowly getting better, important gaps still persist to exist, and aren’t necessarily narrowing. The various council departments involved in transport must get much more organised, start working together closely and effectively – including sharing with expert groups – to demonstrate a concerted united citywide effort. Katja Leyendecker, chair at newcycling.org, says “Newcastle City Council now has millions to spend on walking and cycling infrastructure but still there is no programme. I wonder how the expenditure is going for the CCAF1[…]

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