Mobike exits Gosforth and High West Jesmond

The cycle-sharing scheme Mobike UK has cut Gosforth and High West Jesmond from its operating area in Newcastle.

The announcement of the reduced operating area in Newcastle came in September 2018.

Users of the mobile app were presented with a new map of the operating area when they logged in on their smartphones.

Image courtesy Evening Chronicle (from a Mobike UK handout – September 2018) “Mobike is reducing the size of the designated cycling area in Newcastle and Gateshead. The blue line was when we first launched; the light grey area was where we expanded; the darker area is the ‘new’ operating area.”

Mobike UK launced with a fanfare in October 2017.

Having expanded the initial area of operating in February 2018 to include High West Jesmond, Gosforth and other areas in the north of Newcastle upon Tyne, the latest change severly restricts the operational area in the city.

Read our Feb 2018 article: Mobike extends to High West Jesmond & Gosforth

Mobike previously expanded to Gosforth & High West Jesmond

Mobike UK itself issued a blog posting in Feb 2018 promoting its expansion in Newcastle noting that it was:

“expanding its successful scheme in Newcastle to respond to increasing demand from the city and its residents.”

“The expansion follows discussions between Mobike, local authorities and councils. Newcastle has made significant investment in cycling infrastructure in recent years, thanks to it becoming one of the UK’s eight ‘Cycle Cities’ and its ambition to support sustainable travel. New cycle lanes and routes, both inside and out of the city centre, make Newcastle a perfect Mobike city.”

Now High West Jesmond & Gosforth are cut out from cycle scheme

Removing High West Jesmond and Gosforth means that residents can no longer take advantage of bikes in their local area.

At one point the cycle racks at the Ilford Road Metro station (platform towards the coast and airport) regularly had the distinctive orange Mobikes available, as illustrated in the photo below from 2 August 2018. 

Mobikes parked at Ilford Road Metro station on 2 August 2018

However, despite the fine weather, for much of the school summer holidays there were no orange Mobikes available at all at Ilford Road Metro station – the picture on 4 August 2018 illustrates the lack of bikes.

All gone – even before the official announcement of the exclusion of High West Jesmond from the cycle-sharing scheme, there were no Mobikes at Ilford Road Metro station on 4 August 2018

Our Twitter account @highwestjesmond notified Mobike UK of the lack of bikes at Ilford Ropad Metro station on 4 August 2018 and we received a reply that stated “thanks for letting us know – we will get bikes back to this area soon”.

Mobike UK responds on 6 August to previous tweet from @highwestjesmond notring lack of bikes on 4 August 2018

The shrinkage in the operating area in Newcastle in Sept 2018 follows a decision by Mobike UK to withdraw completely from Manchester.

 

Walk the bounds – a tour of High West Jesmond

Join us for a fascinating tour of High West Jesmond and learn more about the history of our community

We are delighted to invite you to a walking tour of ‘the bounds’ of High West Jesmond led by Chris Morgan who has already kindly shared some of his photographs of High West Jesmond’s past that we have featured on this webesite.

Date: Sunday 3 June 2018

Time: 10.30am

Meeting place: outside Delicious Decadence, Newlands Road, NE2 3NT

The tour will take approximately 2 hours and will explain the last 200 years of this special area on the border of Jesmond and Gosforth.

It will be illustrated with many old photographs and tales from Chris Morgan’s personal memory and those of his mother who played here before many of the houses were built.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday 3 June.

Download a copy of the Walking the Bounds of High West Jesmond event poster here

Streets for People – HWJRA submits views from residents’ meeting

During the consultation period of proposed changes to streets in High West Jesmond as part of the Streets for People initiative HWJRA held a residents meeting on Monday 13 November 2017.

The meeting was held at Jesmond Library and was well attended.

HWJRA organised the event so that residents had the opportunity to find out more about the proposals for Moorfield and Ilford Road, ask questions and hear others views.

Following the meeting HWJRA submitted the views from the residents to Streets for People so that these could be taken into account before the consultation period closes on 30 November 2017.

A copy of the HWJRA submission is shown below.

The Moorfield and Ilford Road proposal from Streets for People

Read a summary of the proposal in the Moorfield Information Sheet:

Your feedback is wanted

The Streets for People initiative want to hear from you and you can provide feedback via their website. You have until 30 November 2017 to submit your feedback.

Residents’ views as submitted by HWJRA

The following in a summary of the HWJRA Meeting which was held to discuss the Streets for People Proposal – 13/11/2017:

Present:

Ilford Rd/Moorfield (15 residents)
Lodore/Treherne/Albemarle/Kingswood/Newlands (13 residents)
Albury/Honister/Woodthorne (4 residents)
Councillor Henry Gallagher
Total (32 residents plus 1 councillor)

The S4P proposal was explained in detail and then the group were invited to discuss and express their views, looking at each of the main aspects of the proposal separately.

1. Ilford Road/Moorfield Junction

All agreed that there was an issue of safety at this junction and welcomed the proposal to improve this.

The group was split 1/3 in favour, 1/3 against, 1/3 not sure about the roundabout design. The group wasn’t against a roundabout “per-se” but was concerned about some of the details.

Residents’ principal concern at this junction is pedestrian and cyclist safety – in particular it is difficult for pedestrians (particularly those with pushchairs or in wheelchairs) to cross over Ilford Road on the northern side of the junction.

The previous redesign of Ilford Road has led to poor visibility on Ilford Road on the northern side of the junction as traffic heading north waits for traffic heading south in the approximate location of the proposed roundabout. This should be tackled as part of any redesign of the junction.

Suggestions from the group

– Getting cars to slow down in all 4 directions is felt to be a good approach.

– Group would strongly support a raised platform at this junction (similar to the one at the junction of Moor Road South and the Grove). This could include a roundabout, but if it did then visibility and accessibility would need to be improved.

– Double yellow lines should be added around all 4 corners of the junction as cars currently park too close to the junction.

– A well located pedestrian crossing on the north side, going across Ilford Road, would be very beneficial for pedestrians and further slow traffic on Ilford Road.

– Dropped kerbs should be added at crossing points (except where there is a raised platform).

– Junction should be re-aligned east to west to improve safety.

2. Re-laid pavement and crossing points along Moorfield

Group was 100% in favour of this, subject to the width and location of the crossing points coinciding with existing points and the materials used being sympathetic to the area.

Suggestions from the group

Also renew pavement on north Moorfield between Treherne Road and Great North Road (using same materials as above) as it is in a similarly poor condition and a large puddle now appears where the old pavement meets the new pavement at the west end of Moorfield.

3. Narrowing of Moorfield

Residents strongly support reducing speeding traffic on Moorfield however they are strongly against doing this by narrowing the road.

The reasons for this were:

The visual amenity of a wide road is much appreciated by local residents and they would be very reluctant to see this changed.

Residents on Ilford Road feel that this road has become more dangerous since it was narrowed. There has been no noticeable decrease in speeding traffic, a notable increase in damage to cars (clipped wing mirrors etc) and overall the road feels more dangerous.

There was some concern that, particularly at night when there are less vehicles parked on Moorfield, it might look like a few cars have parked in the middle of the road and this could be disorientating and unsafe.

Concerns were also raised (via letter to the meeting) that Moorfield would become more dangerous to cross for pedestrians including many dog walkers who use the Little Moor.

Suggestions from the group

Residents were very much in favour of using an alternative approach to reduce the problem of speeding on Moorfield. A number of ideas were suggested and the following received strong support (in order of popularity).

– Introduce raised platforms at junctions of Moorfield and all or some of its side roads (Newlands Road, Kingswood Avenue, Albemarle Avenue, Treherne Road and Lodore Road). These would be similar to the junction of Moor Road South and the Grove

– Introduce nicely designed signage on the road or side of the road (maybe done by West Jesmond school) to make it clear that these are 20mph residential streets

– Introduce a “continuous pathway” along the northern side of Moorfield to reduce the speed at which cars enter and exit the side streets

– Introduce a pedestrian crossing on Ilford Road and possibly Moorfield

– Introduce an advisory “speed checker” sign halfway along Moorfield

4. Cycle Path along Moorfield

The group was split 2/3 “against” and 1/3 “unsure” about a cycle path. Nobody was in favour.

The reasons given for the opposition were:

Residents (including a number of cyclists) feel that cycling is already safe on Moorfield because of its width, and that there are other areas of Jesmond/Newcastle where the addition of a cycle path would be far more beneficial.

The cyclists in the group felt that they would be unlikely to use the cycle path as it was fairly narrow for two way cycle traffic and right next to parked cars. They would prefer to cycle on the wider roadway, particularly if speed of traffic is reduced.

Cyclists who live on the side streets off Moorfield also said that they would not want to have to cross the road between parked cars to get to a cycle lane on the south side of the road.

All felt that focus should be on reducing speed of traffic and improving the Ilford Road/Moorfield junction. Doing this would automatically improve safety for both cyclists and pedestrians.

Suggestions from the group

Remove the cycle lane from the proposal and focus on speed reduction and junction safety to enhance the cyclist and pedestrian experience.

5. Pavement widening at Moorfield/Treherne

The group was opposed to this as it was not felt to be a dangerous junction and there would be a net loss of parking space if the proposal went ahead.

That said, the group were concerned about the impact of dangerous and inconsiderate parking at all the junctions of Moorfield and its side streets (particularly where dropped kerbs are being blocked).

Suggestions from group.

Leave pavement at current width but introduce yellow lines on corners of Moorfield and its side streets to keep dropped kerbs fully accessible.

6. Removal of parking/redesign of junction at west end of Moorfield

The group was 100% in favour of this. Parked cars at this junction are making it dangerous for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Suggestions from the group

Extend the proposed “no parking” area up to where Moorfield meets Lodore Road.

The group then discussed some of the other suggestions that have already been made on the S4P consultation website as follows:

7. Closing the junction of Moorfield and Great North Road

The group was split 38% in favour, 50% against and 12% don’t know on this proposal (Moorfield residents were split 50%/50%).

It was suggested that the impact of any changes at Blue House Roundabout would need to be factored in to any decision and that, during the construction phase of any project at BHR, a temporary closure might be appropriate.

8. Residents’ parking

Opinion was split 47% in favour, 41% against, 12% don’t know on this issue.

People on Ilford Road and Moorfield have been most directly impacted by the increase in “park and ride” that is clearly happening in the area and, as a consequence, are more likely to favour residents’ parking.

It was agreed that this issue should be looked at once the Streets for People (and possibly Blue House Roundabout) projects have been completed.

It was also suggested that Nexus should be encouraged to get the Regent Centre park and ride facility better used – possibly by bringing Regent Centre into Zone 1.

9. Ilford Road

Whilst the S4P project only directly impacts on Ilford Road at its junction with Moorfield, concern was expressed about this road and the continued high speed of traffic, damage to vehicles and difficulty at junctions – particularly at Lodore Road.

Residents were asked what their opinion would be on closing Ilford Road to through traffic by blocking the road at (for example) the point where Ilford Road becomes Rectory Road. T

he group was strongly opposed to this suggestion as they felt it would simply shift the problem of rat running elsewhere.

It was agreed that a submission on behalf of residents would be made by HWJRA to the S4P group.

Streets for People information

You can read more of the background to the Streets for People initative on our Streets for People page.

Residents’ meeting for Streets for People Moorfield & Ilford Road proposals

What changes would you make to Jesmond to encourage you to walk more, cycle more or let the kids play out?

That’s what Newcastle City Council asked residents in three areas of the city – Jesmond; Arthur’s Hill & Fenham; and Ouseburn & Heaton as part of the Council’s process for determining how to spend £3m of Cycle City Ambition Fund money in these areas.

Moorfield proposals

Included within the Jesmond proposals are plans for Moorfield & the junction with Ilford Road, High West Jesmond with a public consultation open until 30 November 2017.

Residents meeting – Monday 13 November

HWJRA (High West Jesmond Residents’ Association) would like to meet with local residents so that we can guage local opinion on the proposals and then submit a response on behalf of HWJRA.

Come along to the residents meeting which will take place in the main room at Jesmond Library, St George’s Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 2DL on Monday 13 November 2017 at 18:30 where you can find out more and let us know your views.

Cabinet lead talks about Streets for People

Hear Cllr Arlene Ainsley, Cabinet Member for Transport and Air Quality talk about Streets for People in a short video posted on to the Newcastle City Council Facebook page today.

More about Streets for People

You can find out more about Streets for People in our previous news article on this website.

Streets for People: Proposal to change road layout at Moorfield/Ilford Road

The council have today opened consultation on a series of proposals to make changes to streets in the Jesmond and High West Jesmond area as part of the Streets for People initiative.

The proposals are aimed at improving provision for pedestrians and cyclists throughout the area.

One of the proposals involves redesigning the junction of Ilford Road and Moorfield as well as adding a cycle lane, relaying pathway and narrowing the main carriageway on Moorfield.

The outline plans can be viewed following the Moorfield Information Sheet link below and further detail can be found at the information stand in Jesmond library and also the Streets for People website streetsforpeople.org.uk/jesmond

Take part in the consultation process

The proposed changes would have a significant impact on Moorfield so HWJRA would strongly encourage all local residents – and particularly those who live on or close to Moorfield – to take a close look at the plans and to participate in the consultation programme that the council has opened up.

You can feed back your thoughts on the proposal anytime up until 30 November 2017 via the Streets for People website or by completing a questionnaire at Jesmond Library.

Meeting for HWJ residents

We plan to arrange a meeting for local residents so that the Residents Association can gauge local opinion on this proposal and submit our own response to the council which would be in addition to responses from individual residents.

Come along to the residents meeting which will take place in the main room at Jesmond Library, St George’s Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 2DL on Monday 13 November 2017 at 18:30 where you can find out more and let us know your views.

Proposal C – Moorfield and Ilford Road junction

This part of the neighbourhood plan proposes changes to Moorfield between Ilford Road and Great North Road (i.e. Gosforth High Street).

Read a summary of the proposal in the Moorfield Information Sheet:

Detailed drawings for the three different sections of Moorfield that would be changed can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.

1. Moorfield, between junction with Ilford Road and Kingswood Avenue

2. Moorfield, between Kingswood Avenue and Lodore Road 

3.  Moorfield, between Lodore Road and Great North Road

And you can read more information on the Streets for People website.

Streets for People information

You can read more of the background to the Streets for People initative on our Streets for People page.

1964 – Embankment fires between Ilford Road and Albury Road

When Ilford Road Metro station wasn’t on any agenda, and before the old electric trains were scrapped to be replaced by diesel multiple units

A heritage posting from Chris Morgan

This picture is taken from the overbridge on Moorfield and shows the embankment on both sides of the line had been set alight by sparks from a steam hauled freight train that had passed earlier that spring evening.

This is now the position of the Ilford Road Metro station. A 4 coach Tyneside commuter multiple unit electric has just passed and is roughly where Metro platforms now stand. These trains used to run in 2, 4, 6 or 8 coach sets. At busy summer weekends a special pram coach was often added to 6 coach trains to help get young families to the coast. The pram coaches were older coaches retained from the previous style stock, similar to those used on the South Tyne line to South Shields.

Not too long after this photo was taken it was decided not to replace these old LNER electric units and to replace them with DMUs. They were not to operate as frequent a service, and were noisier. Usage dropped sharply. Amazingly, the finance was assembled to build the Metro system. This part of the track retained the old wooden sleepers, still showing traces of where the third rail had been supported, until the track was relaid with concrete sleepers in August 2013.

This part of Newcastle is called High West Jesmond. Due to it’s proximity to Gosforth fire engines were despatched from both the Northumberland fire station at Gosforth and Newcastle Central fire station. Usually the Gosforth brigade would have the fire out before the Newcastle engine arrived. On this day there was enough work for both!

The Northumberland crew are working in heavy helmets. The Newcastle crew are bare headed.

Read more about the NER Tyneside electric multiple units