Jesmond: Routes to Retail

Friday 29th November 6pm- 8pm Cricket Ground, Osborne Avenue Jesmond has received £350,000 from the Department for Transport to improve the environment for families walking and cycling to the retail area. How should the money be spent? The Residents Association (JRA) and Sustrans invite you to an evening of information and debate. How can we make routes into our shopping area more people friendly Speakers: Paola Spivach (Sustrans) & Ron Armstrong (JRA) – What can we take from what’s been done elsewhere, what works and what doesn’t? What are the benefits of shared space, and if so where? How can[…]

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ICE North East infrastructure debate

Linking up with engineering institutions – read about their pedal-positive State of the Nation Transport 2013 report here Now it’s about infrastructure The Institution of Civil Engineers’ State of the Nation event is scheduled to hold a regional workshop to analyse and grade the region’s infrastructure and formulate its position. This is an opportunity to contribute and provide input to the national report. ICE North East will also produce its own briefing sheet to complement the main report. Participants will be invited first to score and then to discuss the region’s infrastructure condition and capacity, resilience, economic and social impact,[…]

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The Dutch are coming

Newcastle’s Banqueting Hall will “turn orange”, as Dutch officials will teach the region on the subject of designing transport inclusively for the bicycle at a conference chaired by Christian Wolmar on 5 November. An excellent learning opportunity has been organised for city bosses: the ‘Love Cycling Go Dutch’ conference series is coming Newcastle. Cllr Nick Forbes has confirmed his attendance. The conference has been pulled together collaboratively, including a huge effort by many volunteers, by the Dutch Embassy, Newcastle City Council, Newcastle University and Newcycling. Part of the conference is a highway design get-together between Dutch and local council engineers[…]

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Campaign urges city chiefs to show support and learn from abroad

After Newcycling’s warning to council bosses, the group now offers solutions too. The Dutch Embassy and its partners including Newcycling invite decision-makers and practitioners to a one-day conference of learning from the Dutch, chaired by Christian Wolmar. An excellent learning opportunity has been organised for city bosses in the form of the ‘Love Cycling Go Dutch’ conference. Cllr Nick Forbes has confirmed his attendance. However the general sign-up rate by Newcastle Councillors is low. The Cabinet functions of Children Services (Cllr Kingsland), Investment and Development including Transport (Cllr Bell), Communities (Cllr Stephenson), Adult Services (Cllr Dunn) have not confirmed attendance.[…]

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Getting to the core of 1Core (cont)

If you were put out by the 300+ page document, but were prepared to read something, here it was: Cycling pp138-141, click here. Read more about the 1Core here CORE CYCLING POLICY    Introduction The core policy, above, reads okay at first sight and is no doubt well-intentioned. To avoid later queries and possible heartache, we’d really like to ask what “wherever [sic.] appropriate” and “promoting cycle improvements” means. And we note that Newcastle, after some to-ing and fro-ing, now once again agrees with us that the city centre North-South route (aka ‘Great’ North Cycleway or Atkin’s red route) is[…]

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Warning sent to Newcastle City Council

Newcycling has warned the council they would become negligent if no action is taken soon. At a Council Cabinet meeting with a focus on transport, held in public on 9 October, the group’s chairwoman went on record to hold Pat Ritchie, Newcastle’s chief executive, to account and ask her to get behind their own council transport policies to avoid the “London scenario”. Like most local authorities London has been ‘encouraging’ people to cycle for decades. Cycling in London, for this reason and others, has doubled in the last ten years making it the envy of other transport authorities. However this[…]

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Bike user comments (cont.)

We put infrastructure comments resulting from a recent survey of Scratchbikes users into a ‘word cloud’ generator (using tagxedo). Thanks goes to the fabulous http://www.scratchbikes.co.uk/ (Newcastle’s green public hire bikes) run by Grandscheme for sharing the data. The result looks pretty similar to bike user comments we collated over the years [pdf] and handed to council in 2010 and 2012. We think people want more space for cycling. Still. Again. Maybe not much has changed on the ground since the survey in 2010? Raw comments attached here.

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Northumbria Police and the law

After a useful and hopeful meeting with Police and Crime Commissioner’s deputy, we reported here, our hopes were quickly squashed for Northumbria Police to adopt a real, honest and fair attitude towards city cycling any time soon. It appears that their officers do not even know the basics of the Highway Code and their boss, Vera Baird, thinks she’s done enough. As chair of Newcycling and a city centre bike commuter, I will certainly add my voice to the chorus: I have seen, too many times, a police officer waiting in the bike box with no reason to do so…[…]

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