Council table unpopular plans for Blue House roundabout

bluehouse-looking-north

Newcastle City Council has opened a consultation on plans to replace Blue House roundabout with a new scheme that residents are calling an “utterly grim” and “vastly elaborate and overblown scheme.”

The planned redevelopment of Blue House roundabout is required, the council say, for safety reasons.

Plans tabled by the council on July 20th would see a significantly larger roundabout, controlled by traffic lights, replace the current smaller – infamous – roundabout. This new roundabout would encroach on Town Moor land currently owned by the Freemen of Newcastle.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that the Blue House junction becomes safer, and that it does not constrain growth (particularly housing/employment growth in North Tyneside and Northumberland in addition to our city) so we need to make changes at this location,” the council say.

The proposed plans, drawn up by planners based at AECOM, an engineering firm with offices in Newcastle and Leeds – the latter where the plans were produced – have not been warmly welcomed by residents.

Of 107 comments published on the project’s consultation page at the time of publication, just seven are marked as positive. Only three of those actually contain comments in favour of the idea, with other respondents complaining that they had marked comments as positive by mistake.

One response on the council’s consultation page called the plans “an obscenely large roundabout”. Newcastle City Council acknowledge in their introduction to the plans that “the design we are proposing is a much bigger roundabout than the current layout, with traffic lights controlling access to the system.”

Many responses on the council’s website and social media focus around the impact the plans will have on the Town Moor. One tweet claimed that more than 100 trees will be lost if the plans, as tabled, go ahead.

Resident bodies and lobby organisations have also reacted badly to the plans. The Newcastle Cycling Campaign called the mooted changes “fundamentally wrong”.

Local resident Simon Ross told JesmondLocal “I am somewhat stunned by a proposal to create a motorway style junction in the middle of a well used public park next to a residential area.”

The proposed scheme would create four traffic lanes along Jesmond Dene Road between the junctions with Osborne Road and with Moorfield, up from the current three lanes.

Were the plans to go ahead, the council would swap land it currently owns in Kenton for acreage on the Town Moor that would allow it to build the new, larger roundabout, it was revealed in documentation submitted in support of the plans.

14 thoughts on “Council table unpopular plans for Blue House roundabout”

  1. Mum of 5 says:

    Something needs to be done at this roundabout but not sure if this is the solution. It is only a larger roundabout with traffic lights!

  2. Rita says:

    Not STUPID traffic light again, it is pouring money down to the drain scheme. Round about is the most genius way to drive throught the junction. Sadly, early all the round abouts in Newcastle have replaced by stupid traffic lights in every junction. It has coursed serious traffic jam every day during rush hous than ever. I used to take 7 mins to get mh kids to school, now with traffic light in Four land Ends it takes me over 15 to 20 mins to get my kids to school. In my opinion, Round abouts are safer than traffic lights, we are more alerted when driving throught the round abouts than traffic lights. I have seen many cars accrossed junction when it just turned into red light, as missed that chance to passed the junction they need to wait another 3 mins. I havd heared a lot people complainting about traffic lighf especially Four Land Ends but no one know where to complaint. Waiting for traffic light epecially in empty junctions during off peak hours is unnecessary. Please put round abouts back and stop treating drivers

  3. Rosie says:

    Not impressed at all…

  4. Nicky Smith says:

    This is an utterly ridiculous overblown attempt at replacing blue house roundabout – which actually works. Think of the impact aesthetically and environmentally on the Moor, Jesmond dene road, Highbury, Ilford road, Grandstand and Kenton. The impact on residents will be immense – who would want to live in those environs? I suspect it will end up looking like the M25 interchange as it now does at Cowgate. Quite disgusting and inappropriate – it will detract hugely from the beauty of our city.

  5. Jesmond resident says:

    How can the council take land from the moor… This belongs to the Freemen and the council have no right to it. Maybe what the council need to do is to teach people how to use roundabouts.

    I’m also sick of the attention cyclists get… I’m fed up with trying to walk around Jesmond and gosforth and being nearly knocked off my feet by one of them. If the council want to invest in cycling, they should encourage cycling tests, safety classes, making sure that cyclists have lights and helmets.

    This is a monstrosity that we do not need. It demonstrates how the council are over populating Jesmond and gosforth and not using the money effectively.

  6. Duncan says:

    It should a straight underpass with slip road . The traffic would not stop.

  7. Martin Waugh says:

    This is excessive. It does not address the main problem here which is traffic backing up from the top of Osbourne Road all the way to the Blue House. Full time traffic lights are inefficient, particularly outside of rush hour, ie 90% of the time. I would echo the effect of ‘improvements’ on my transit times in Newcastle which have doubled in 20 years and NOT due to increased traffic. Think again.

  8. David Hardman says:

    This is the Cradlewell bypass all over again. Who remembers what it was like there before the change? It was so much nicer to walk from Armstrong Park to Jesmond Dene through all that traffic before they built that tunnel and bridge. The loss of trees to Jesmond Dene was devastating, the park has never recovered from it.

    The City needs a strong arterial network of roads to enable the removal of rat running traffic from residential streets. I do not know if this is the right solution, I am not an engineer with access to all the data needed to assess that. This route (in both directions) needs improving, not just for the economy but also so we can see real improvements in the residential streets in Jesmond and Gosforth.

  9. Josie Davidson says:

    Harrogate has the Stray and is very proud of the space , I can’t imagine they would allow such a monstrous scheme to spoil Harrogate, if this goes ahead it will dramatically alter the one space the City can be proud of ! a beautiful town moor, an overblown scheme more akin to the M25 than our City Centre.
    Whoever came up with this scheme obviously does not live in Newcastle.

  10. jo says:

    This new scheme is hideous. Totally over the top solution and again we are faced with more traffic lights! The illustration very conveniently does not show all the beautiful houses that will be impacted and devalued by these proposals. Why oh why can the the council not spend all this money on something that will really improve our lives in Gosforth…maybe more and better buses so people don’t want to drive into the city anyway.

  11. Nick & Sarah Edgar says:

    If you are angry about these plans, here are some things you can do:
    1. Register your objection on the Council’s website, which is highlighted in the article above: https://bluehousetohaddricks.commonplace.is/schemes/proposals/blue-house-roundabout/details
    2. Sign the Change.Org petition- search Newcastle: https://www.change.org/p/newcastle-city-council-newcastle-says-no-to-blue-house-roundabout-proposals/u/17433023
    3. Write to the Council and your MP and ask for this to be stopped and an extension given to at least until the end of September to allow for proper consultation:
    • Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive, Newcastle City Council, pat.ritchie@newcastle.gov.uk
    • Nick Forbes, Leader of Council (Labour Party), nick.forbes@newcastle.gov.uk
    • Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Investment & Development: ged.bell@newcastle.gov.uk
    • Tom Warburton, Director of Investment & Development tom.warburton@newcastle.gov.uk
    • Graham Grant, Head of Transport Investment Graham.grant@newcastle.gov.uk
    • Catherine McKinnell, MP- Newcastle North Catherine.mckinnell.mp@parliament.uk
    • Chi Onwurah, MP-Newcastle Central chi.onwurah.mp@parliament.uk
    • Nick Brown, MP-Newcastle East-nick.brown.mp@parliament.uk

    4. Give your feedback to the Freemen: http://www.freemenofnewcastle.org/contact.html

    Deadline for feedback is 21st August.

    Thanks

  12. Tyson says:

    I think it looks rather good. Sure it could be a little smaller so it doesn’t encroach on the moor as much – but a roundabout will be quicker and safer.

    However, I like most other Jesmond residents, have serious reservations about any council changes to our roads – they have made some awful errors and seem in thrall to the cycle lobby.

  13. Stella George says:

    This scheme is over the top and WHY more traffic lights !!! This is will slow the traffic down. As it stands the round about allows free flow of traffic. I do not support the proposal. It is a waste of money. If there is excess money to be spent on roads they could spend money on the drainage issues.
    To to make to safer for pedestrians the trees need to be trimmed which would allow us to see on coming traffic.

  14. Prof. R.I. & Mrs D.J.Lewis says:

    We are very unhappy indeed with the Council’s proposals re the new Blue House roundabout which encroaches on the Little Moor where children at present play and Duke’s Moor which also is a very important green space much appreciated by the population. It will also affect the houses in Moor Crescent and Moorfield with the traffic much nearer and decades-old trees cannot be replaced really by new ones.
    We also understand that the important turning into Osborne Road from Jesmond Dene Road is to be closed, with traffic having choose alternative smaller roads such as Forsyth and Clayton roads which are completely unsuitable for heavy traffic.
    We strongly disagree with these proposals.

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