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.