Without consulting residents, Gateshead Council has decided to make a series of changes around Gateshead town centre that will impact many Low Fell residents.
Work has already started (see photo above, taken today) and these changes include:
the closure of the northbound section of the Gateshead flyover to make it cycle only
the creation of new cycle routes in the Oakwellgate area and on the approaches to the Tyne Bridge
the removal of all traffic except for buses, cyclists and pedestrians from a section of Askew Road where it joins the Tyne Bridge
the elimination of buses and other traffic from the historic Bridges Quarter except for access and deliveries
The Council say the measures are temporary. We are currently making enquires with the Council as to the financial cost of these measures.
Speaking to the Chronicle newspaper, Low Fell Councillor Daniel Duggan, said: “We need more space for safe cycling and walking. However, simply closing roads to vehicles could simply move traffic congestion onto the main roads such as Durham Road, the Felling Bypass and the A1.
“Far from creating safe cycling routes, outside the centre of Gateshead, the plans could result in greater pollution, more congestion and greater dangers to cyclists.
“We need to take more vehicles off our roads and an effective way to do this is to set up park and ride schemes throughout Gateshead. These should form a key part of the Council’s plans to expand cycling and make our roads safer.
“Without park and ride, the council’s strategy could fail. And we could be left with utter chaos around the Tyne Bridge with tailbacks causing gridlock.”
You can read more about this in the Chronicle and on the BBC news website.
We are also encouraging residents to give their views to Labour's Cabinet Member for Transport at the Council. His details can be found here.