Ambition programme wildly off track

Newcycling warns this week that Newcastle council risks serious ridicule. This comes after the group have carried out a progress assessment of the Cycle City Ambition Fund, see (1 and 4). Many projects are more than a year behind schedule leaving £1m project spend at risk and many more millions of pounds undeclared. Newcycling, Newcastle’s cycling campaign, recently addressed Newcastle council’s Cycle Forum to make the case for better collaboration, design and planning, see (2). Katja Leyendecker, chair, says “We want Newcastle’s excellent and ambitious policies of a better fairer city to be implemented, better sooner than later. So it’s[…]

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Strategic Cycle Routes – progress assessment

About a year ago Newcastle was granted £5.6m from DfT to make the city fit for cycling, or at least make a good start towards it. The City Cycling Ambition Fund (CCAF) was awarded to cities which demonstrated the ambition to build quality cycle infrastructure and re-allocate road space for bikes to enable new people to cycle and a positive modal shift away from the car. The funding has to be spent by March 2015 and four SCRs, at least in part, were to be built. Scott, and sometimes Kat, have attended the fortnightly Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meetings since[…]

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Jesmond cycling improvements – an update

In November 2012, Newcycling’s Jesmond branch received a response from the city council to cycling plan for Jesmond we had carefully put together. We ask what progress has been made in the last nineteen months? To remind ourselves, among the requests which were considered for approval, funding allowing, were • dedicated cycle space on Osborne Road, between Clayton Road and Jesmond Road for starters • a right turn junction from Osborne Road to Haldane Terrace • improvements at the junction of Forsyth Road / Brentwood Avenue • investigating traffic calming options for Highbury (depending on a speed survey which was[…]

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Still ambitious chaos

You remember the Cycle City Ambition Fund? Maybe not? And you’d be forgiven, as the council keeps strangely quiet about it in its communications, newsletters and updates to residents. Why is that? Why do they find it so hard to communicate their ambitious transformation to a city fit for people? Is it too ambitious and they are hesitant and uncertain where to start? Or do they simply not see the value in shouting it from all roof tops? The story began last year. In April 2013 we, amongst many other groups, full-heartedly supported Newcastle’s ambition to transform its roads and[…]

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Acorn Road – Public Street Design Event

Sustrans and Newcastle City Council would like to invite residents and businesses to a public street design event to be held on Acorn Road Saturday 8th March. This will be an opportunity to look at some options that have been developed for the streets around the shopping area and to chat through the opportunities and challenges ahead. We’ll also have the results of our Acorn & St George’s Retailers Survey. You can find them at the junction of Acorn, Larkspur and Sanderson Rd from 10am to 2pm – relocating the display boards to Jesmond Library which is open until 4:30pm.[…]

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Love cycling? So Going Dutch it is!

The long-awaited Love Cycling Go Dutch conference took place in Newcastle on 5 November and it was a great success. More than 130 policy makers, decision takers and designers (those who can and want to make a difference) attended and whilst we would have liked the higher ranks to turn up, the mix of practitioners from across the region, campaigners and cycling organisations was excellent and led to a good debate. Image 1 – Not an empty seat on sight at the kick off! Image 2 – Christian Wolmar, Chair of the Conference and Paul Goldsmith, co-founder of Cycling Tynedale[…]

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Jesmond public space discussion (DIY Streets)

Sustrans’ DIY Streets works closely with local communities to help them to redesign their neighbourhood affordably, putting people back at its heart and making it safer, more attractive, and more conducive to walking and cycling. We want to improve your neighbourhood and we want you to help! What’s good about Jesmond? What’s bad? Come and have your say. We hope that as many as possible (Jesmondites and beyond) will attend the meeting arranged for 13th November when Kieran McSherry from Sustrans will introduce us to the DIY Streets concept. Jesmond Library, St. George’s Terrace Wednesday 13th November – 6.30 –[…]

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Communicating and Debating Ambition and Changes

As part of the delivery arrangements of the City Cycling Ambition Funded (CCAF) programme, a Stakeholders Group has been set up and met for the first time on 18 September 2013. Its aim is to communicate the CCAF vision and plans to a larger audience and involve groups and local communities at an early stage. The stated role and responsibilities of the group are to: – maintain the vision of ambition – disseminate comments from local groups – inform technical and management groups – champion the programme within communities Unlocking the bicycle makes a liveable city – but this simple[…]

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CCAF September 2013

Back in April Newcastle City council published their bid for the Cycle City Ambition Fund (CCAF) and in August nearly £6million was awarded to the council. This money has to be converted into changes on the ground by 2015. A tall ask! Newcastle’s bid promises stretches along four of the seven Strategic Cycle Routes (SCRs) to be completed, see below. It also includes the north-south link between Newcastle and Gateshead (Great North Cycleway) linking student accommodation at Gateshead’s Trinity Square to the campuses in Newcastle. Road and street environments in a number of communities are also to be improved for[…]

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Peeping at the pockets of the Prime Minister

Today the Prime Minister announced investment in cycling. The numbers aren’t exactly clear yet; they are still bouncing up and down like the stock exchange – but what is clear is Newcastle’s success in getting £6m from the Cycle City Ambition Fund (CCAF). We reported about the bid here. Let’s have a look at today’s figures and what they mean for Newcastle. And where else to start than the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch spend £30 per person year on year on cycling infrastructure. And as the Dutch cycleways are largely built, it can be expended on expansion, upgrades[…]

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