Retailers resist changes
Local businesses say they fear that pedestrianising Acorn Road or reducing the number of parking spaces could significantly reduce the number of shoppers. They claim that many retailers rely on non-Jesmond residents who visit Acorn Road’s shops by car.
Boilerhouse owner Steve Jones told JesmondLocal how changing Acorn Road would have an immediate impact on local businesses. Watch his interview with JesmondLocal’s Nelly Stavropoulou:
Local environmental group Transition Jesmond has been working with local residents and Newcastle City Council to explore different ways of transforming the Acorn Road shopping area into a more community-friendly space by reducing traffic and cars congestion. Polling machines were set up in July at Tesco supermarket on Acorn Road and Waitrose on Osborne Road, asking shoppers which modes of transport they used for reaching Jesmond.
Tony Waterston of Transition Jesmond told JesmondLocal that the primary aim of any reforms would be to make Acorn Road a safer, more pleasant and social place to live – ago also allow pedestrians to walk around and shop more safely. Watch Waterson’s interview with JesmondLocal’s Nelly Stavropoulou:
As yet, there has been no definite plan of action as Waterston says the group is still researching possible models and will be consulting with a traffic design expert to seek a solution that will not undermine Jesmond’s economy.
Possible scenarios closing the Osborne Road end of Acorn Road; parking availability on only one side of the road; or the use of Acorn Road as a one-way entry or exit street.
Members of Transition Jesmond realise the necessity of car-use and have accepted that traffic should not be completely excluded, says Waterston who told JesmondLocal that the group appreciates that “this street, the stores and the independent buyers are essential to the economy of Jesmond.” However the group believes that reducing traffic could actually have a positive impact on Acorn Road, as it would turn Jesmond into a more attractive shopping centre.
Transition Jesmond says it will be launching an online survey, that will be published by Jesmondlocal, where Jesmond residents can state their opinions and provide feedback.