Jesmond councillors pedal their patch to see cyclists’ concerns

Two South Jesmond councillors have accompanied Nigel Todd, Newcastle City Council’s deputy cabinet member with responsibility for cycling, on a bicycle tour of their patch – pointing out Jesmond’s lack of cycle parking, few safe cycle crossings of major roads, lack of signing to existing routes, and cycle directions which appear once… then disappear.

Led by Tony Waterston of Transition Jesmond, councillors Chris Boyle and David Hardman cycled with Todd from Acorn Road down Osborne Road to Sandyford and back with detours to examine junctions where cyclists feel most at risk. Todd, who says he is keen to see Newcastle improve its cycling facilities, has taken up cycling recently after a long break. “There are some cycle lanes and cycle routes in Jesmond but these are too few and the signing is abysmal,” he said. “We noted a cycle sign pointing to a crossing then nothing more on the other side, and cycle lanes which peter out after 20 metres. I wouldn’t encourage children to use these routes but they are the ones we would like to encourage to cycle more. I’ll be talking to officers about improving the cycle routes to school and to shops from all parts of Jesmond and indeed across the city as we review Newcastle’s new cycling plans.”

Possible solutions discussed included routes that could be designated along quiet roads and made much more evident by clear signs and cycle crossings at road junctions.

Newcastle City Council is working on a cycling strategy, and has outlined the following intentions:

We will aim to improve the following cycle routes:
1. Routes from residential areas to significant journey attractors such as retail centres, major employers, public transport interchanges, hospitals, other education facilities and leisure facilities.

2. Safer routes to schools.
3. Routes into and through the city centre which serve utility cycling trips (cycling to places of work, shopping or education).
4. Other connecting routes used for utility cycling, including inter-urban links.
5. Recreational routes, including links to non-urban sections of the National Cycle Network.

5 thoughts on “Jesmond councillors pedal their patch to see cyclists’ concerns”

  1. Chris Boyle says:

    Following this, we’ve asked for a few dropped kerbs to be installed across Sandyford in particular. However what we really need is fewer but better, clearer and more useable cycle routes.

    Rather frustratingly, the City’s new cycling czar doesn’t cycle and hasn’t restarted cycling. The bike was borrowed. Given that two thirds of Jesmond’s Councillors cycle regularly it’s a disappointing and even confusing appointment.

  2. Dan Howarth says:

    Hear hear. Is there a way of making cycle lanes exclusive to cyclists too? That might deter drivers from parking their cars and vans over the top of them (when on the edge of the road), and thus rendering them pointless.

  3. Katja Leyendecker says:

    It’s great to finally see some political support for cycling! There seems to be good intentions. And hopefully these will translate into usable sensible cycleways.

    Keep it up, lads! You are super! Keep pedalling. Newcastle Bicycle Festival soon!! 28-30 October 2011.

    Poster [pdf 258k]

    See you there
    Newcastle Cycling Campaign

  4. Nh says:

    The intentions are good, however is it not lamentable that a city like Newcastle is only just beginning to work on a cycling strategy? How many years will need to elapse ( not to mention accidents ) before we actually see something?
    I have just returned from Vancouver, and the city could do well to take a leaf out of their book. I quote” The City Council has set a list of transportation priorities in the following order: pedestrian, bicycle, transit, movement of goods, and private automobile. All existing and new projects in the City are evaluated with these priorities in mind and are developed to accommodate them, wherever possible. Expanding the Bicycle Network is an important strategy in the City’s effort to reduce traffic congestion and support a clean, green and healthy mode of transportation

  5. Katja Leyendecker says:

    Newcastle City Council is working on a cycle strategy because the ‘safe cycling in Newcastle’ petition (800 signatures!) and the subsequently formed Newcastle Cycling Campaign are speaking up on cycling matters, provide a voice for the cycling community, and therefore – as a pressure group – have put the political focus on urban cycling matters.

    Without the petition and the campaign, NOTHING much would have happened for cycling in Newcastle.

    Clearly there’s a long way to go. Meanwhile, join the campaign

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