Delays expected on Killingworth Road for 10 weeks

Newcastle City Council is warning of disruption on Killingworth Road in South Gosforth from 7 October 2019 for up to 10 weeks.

The following announcement has been made by Newcastle City Council:

Temporary traffic lights

Temporary traffic lights will be installed on a short section of the A189 until mid-December. This is to control the flow of traffic from the Metro bridge to Haddricks Mill double roundabout as part of the final stages of carriageway construction for the £13.5m project on a key commuter route into the city.

The council is warning that this will cause delays, particularly to southbound traffic and is advising people to use alternative routes via Four Lane Ends or Great North Road or use public transport during this period.

Salters Bridge will also open to vehicles from 13 October.

Cllr Arlene Ainsley, cabinet member for transport and air quality said: “Killingworth Road is due for completion this Spring, but we have now reached a particularly disruptive stage of construction, so I am asking people to please bear with us during this period.

“now reached a particularly disruptive stage of construction”

“In order to complete this essential work to join up the carriageways, we need to alternate southbound and northbound traffic through a narrow section of the road, which will cause delays, particularly to southbound traffic during peak periods.

“We are advising commuters to avoid Killingworth Road and use alternative routes or public transport.

“We will also open Salters Bridge to vehicles again from the 13 October.

“We know some residents and community groups have concerns about traffic using the bridge again and we will closely monitor the situation.

“We have not decided on the long-term future of the bridge and we will consult on this early in the New Year.”

Utilities

The programme is reaching the stage where all new utilities have been installed and the council are removing old utilities. This has left a trench down the middle of the road which needs to backfilled and new foundations laid to join the new carriageways together.

To do this, they need to operate two-way lights to filter single-lane traffic through a narrow area which will create queues at peak periods.

The council has also committed to opening Salters Bridge to vehicles from 13 October, as the legal order which allows the closure of the bridge is due to expire in November.

The temporary traffic signals and mitigation measures that will operate until mid-December, when the works to join the roads are complete, are:

  • Two-way lights from Haddricks Mill junction to the Metro Bridge to restrict the flow of traffic under the bridge
  • The removal of the northbound bus lane on Four Lanes End in Longbenton
  • Salters Bridge to re-open to vehicles from 13 October

10 weeks

The works to join the carriageway should last for 10 weeks, with the two-way light system removed by mid-December.

Once Salters Bridge is open, the council will continue to collect data on travel methods people use to cross the bridge as well as air quality levels in the area. This information will be included as part of the consultation on the long-term future of the bridge.

The full construction programme for Killingworth Road is due to be completed by Spring 2020.

The above news story was issued by Newcastle City Council and included on the Newcastle City Council website. It has been included here for information and does not necessarily represent the views of High West Jesmond Residents’ Association. 

Banqueting Hall in Jesmond Dene

Banqueting House in Jesmond Dene. Photo courtesy Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust

Members of the public are invited to comment on the Charity Commission’s proposed changes to Lord Armstrong’s Deed of Gift dated 1883 as it relates to the Banqueting Hall and Jesmond Dene Park.

The following announcement has been released by the JRA:

Urgent Update: The Banqueting Hall and the Charity Commission – The Armstrong and Hodgkin Charitable Trust

As the Jesmond Residents’ Association’s representative for matters relating to the Banqueting Hall and the Jesmond Dene Estate, I have responded to the charity Commission’s proposed changes to Lord Armstrong’s Deed of Gift dated 1883 as it relates to the Banqueting Hall and Jesmond Dene Park.

Banqueting House in Jesmond Dene. Photo courtesy Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust

JRA concerns expressed

The Jesmond Residents’ Association has raised a strong objection highlighting a number of significant issues which must be taken into consideration before any changes are made.

In brief:

1. The poor quality of the consultation regarding the proposed changes by Newcastle City Council. This demonstrates a lack of fairness and openness, and unseemly and unnecessary haste.

It does not demonstrate or reflect the opinions of Jesmond residents or indeed the citizens of Newcastle.

2. The lack of clarity regarding the fate of the four endowment properties held within the Jesmond Dene estate.

The income generated from these properties is ring fenced for the management, upkeep and restoration of the Banqueting Hall as stated in Lord Armstrong’s Deed of Gift.

3. The actual intentions behind the proposed changes have not been made clear by Newcastle City Council or the new Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust.

The use of Jesmond Dene and the function of the Banqueting Hall were clearly separated by Lord Armstrong’s Deed of Gift. This was for good reason and we do not know why this should be changed.

The Banqueting Hall as a “controlled ruin” is used by the Armstrong Studio Trust and it fulfils Lord Armstrong’s intentions with their outreach activities. Many activities take place within Jesmond Dene which again fulfil Lord Armstrong’s intentions within the Deed of Gift.

4. The current financial effectiveness of Lord Armstrong Deed of Gift is under review by Newcastle City Council which is appropriate. However, there are a number of ideas and proposals from interested parties regarding sourcing funds which should be discussed publicly and openly by Newcastle City Council and Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust.

Your opportunity to comment

Comments or representations on these proposals can be made to the Charity Commission within one month of 01 June 2019 by completing the form of notice on

www.charitycommission.gov.uk/our-regulatory-work/how-to-comment-on-a-scheme/schemes-and-orders

The scheme number is 494310

I would strongly recommend that you make your voices heard and respond to the Charity Commission proposal. Eileen Strouzer

The above news story was issued by Jesmond Residents’ Association. It has been included here for information and does not necessarily represent the views of High West Jesmond Residents’ Association. 

Killingworth Road re-opens for southbound traffic

A key commuter route has finally re-opened – but only for one way traffic southbound coming into Newcastle.

The improvements are part of Newcastle City Council’s plans to improve key junctions across the city – the so-called “Northern Access Corridor” from the Blue House Roundabout, Jesmond Dene Road to Haddricks Mill and beyond.

You can read more about the previous plans from August 2016 for the Blue House Roadabout and Jesmond Dene Road elsewhere on this website.

The following announcement has been made by Newcastle City Council:

As construction work is still ongoing, Newcastle City Council have a phased opening for the A189 in South Gosforth.

Initially only southbound traffic (towards Newcastle city centre) will be allowed on Killingworth Road, with two-way traffic using the road from later in the summer.

Cabinet member for transport and air quality, Cllr Arlene Ainsley said: “It’s great to have Killingworth Road re-opened after its extended closure due to over-running gas works, which has been frustrating for commuters and people living nearby.

“The phased opening allows people on foot and bikes full access with southbound traffic only. Two-way traffic will be back on the road later in the summer when there is enough space to run traffic safely alongside our construction teams.

“Once complete, the project will have addressed a major bottle-neck and maintenance issue on our highways network and provided more sustainable travel choices to help address air quality issues in the local area.”

The council are investing over £13.5m to address maintenance issues and widen a well-known pinch point on the network which caused congestion and delays on one of the city’s busiest roads.

The programme of works included the installation of a new wider Metro bridge, diversion of major gas pipes which severely delayed the project, as well as the widening of the road to install a bus lane and improved facilities for those on foot and bikes.

As part of the closure bus services were re-routed. Stagecoach bus services will keep to their diversion routes but Arriva services 54, X7 and X8 are advising passengers of changes to their routes towards Newcastle.

Construction will continue until 2020.

The above news story was issued by Newcastle City Council and included on the Newcastle City Council website. It has been included here for information and does not necessarily represent the views of High West Jesmond Residents’ Association. 

 

Blue House roundabout plans ‘on hold’

The Evening Chronicle has reported that the plans to overhaul Newcastle’s Blue House roundabout are ‘on hold’ because of the city’s pollution issues.

Newcastle City Council first unveiled its plans to make major changes to the Blue House Roundabout in 2016.

‘Mega roundabout’ on the Town Moor

The original plans were for a so-called ‘mega roundabout’ to be built on the Town Moor.

There was substantial concern from local residents and huge protests took place which saw the original proposals abandoned.

High West Jesmond Residents Assiciation (HWJRA) represented the views of local residents at the time and opposed the 2016 plans.

Subsequently HWJRA, together with Jesmond Residents Association, West Gosforth Residents Association and others were represented on the Blue House Working Group which was then set up to consider alternative suggestions.

You can read a background summary on the Blue House Roundabout here.

Blue House Working Group made proposals

It’s now more than a year since an the alternative proposal from the Blue House Working Group was unveiled and it was expected that a response from Newcastle City Council would be announced soon.

It was anticipated that final designs for Blue House roundabout were being developed and modelled based on recommendations from the working group set up following the backlash to original proposals in the summer of 2016.

And these final plans were anticipated to be publicised this summer.

Read more: Haddricks Mill roundabout improvements to start

Read more: Blue House Working Group recommendations slide deck available 

Read more: Meeting hears recommendations from Blue House Working Group

‘On hold’

The Evening Chronicle has reported that plans for the Blue House roundabout have been put ‘on hold’.

Read more on the Evening Chronicle website: Blue House roundabout on hold due to pollution crisis

We need to ‘take into account air quality’

The Evening Chronicle reported on 28 March 2019 that Graham Grant, Head of Transport Investment, told a Newcastle City Council Oversight and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Tuesday that:

“We need to take into account the consultation on air quality.

At the moment, both the Blue House roundabout and Haddricks Mill both feature as part of the Clean Air Zone – we have been clear that we are open to different ideas and interpretations and are consulting on an alternative.

“We need to understand where we are going with that piece of work before we can commit to the design of the Blue House roundabout.

We have said that we will deliver improvements there not all at the same time — we are doing Killingworth Road, then Haddricks Mill, then Blue House roundabout.

We feel that we have sufficient time to take into account the outcomes of the air quality work before we finalise proposals.”

You can read a background summary on the Blue House Roundabout here.

Moorfield and Ilford Road proposals revealed

Proposals for changes to Moorfield and Ilford Road roads have been revealed by Newcastle City Council following the earlier public consultations under the Streets for People initiative.

Drop in session on 19 March 2019

A public drop in session is being arranged by Newcastle City Council for the public to see the Streets for People proposals on Tuesday 19 March 2019 3pm – 7pm at Jesmond Library, St George’s Terrace.

Newcastle City Council has spent the time since the public consultation on original proposals were issued in October 2017 converting the findings from the public consultation and internal council consultations into briefs to amend the original drawings in the neighbourhood plans for Heaton & Ouseburn; Jesmond; & Arthur’s Hill & Fenham.

The Council’s Streets for People website January 2019 update says that the amended scheme drawings have been  “thoroughly costed so we have a much clearer idea of what is affordable and achievable within the available budget”.

“It was always our intention to propose a greater number of schemes than we had the budget for, thereby creating a sub set of ‘go to’ proposals in each area that could be brought forward in the event of other funding being identified.”

Newcastle City Council has discussed the options for each area with the Streets for People reference groups and fed this back to local Ward Councillors who have determined the following shortlisted schemes to progress to formal consultation and delivery.

Jesmond proposals

The proposals in Jesmond are as follows:

  • Traffic calming and junction improvements along Moorfield and cycle track on Ilford Road between Jesmond Dene Road and Moorfield;
  • Pedestrian crossings and cycling facilities on Osborne Road at the junctions with St George’s Terrace and North Jesmond Avenue;
  • Raised tables to improve the experience for people walking or trying to cross at the road ends along St George’s Terrace;
  • Closing Norham Place to motor vehicles near the junction with Mistletoe Road; and
  • Decluttering Brentwood Avenue to improve the pedestrian experience and adding some cycle parking near the shops.

You can read about proposals for other parts of Newcastle upon Tyne on the Streets for People website.

Moorfield and Ilford Road proposals

The principal objectives behind the changes are to reduce the speed of traffic on both roads and to improve pedestrian and cycling safety.

Many of you may remember that it was originally proposed to narrow Moorfield by adding a wide cycle lane along its full length.

Whilst there was widespread support for the objectives of reducing speed and increasing safety, the reaction of local residents to the significant narrowing of Moorfield was strongly negative.

High West Jesmond Residents Association were therefore pleased to learn that the Council has reacted to the feedback that they received and has produced a revised proposal that maintains the current width of Moorfield for most of its length.

The Council has advised that full details of the proposal are going to be made available shortly, and have organised a “drop-in session” at Jesmond Library on Tuesday 19 March from 3pm – 7.30pm so that local residents can take a look at the detail of the proposals and comment on them.

Our understanding is that the proposals will include:

  • The introduction of a cycling lane along the west side of Ilford Road from Jesmond Dene Road to Moorfield
  • Tightening of the junction at Moorfield/Ilford Road and introduction of a raised platform to slow traffic as it crosses this junction along and across Ilford Road
  • Introduction of three speed ramps along Moorfield to reduce the speed of traffic along this road
  • Some amendments at the junction of Moorfield and Moor Road South to make this junction safer (we have not yet seen the details of this part of the proposal).

We will make the plans available via our website and the notice board on Newlands Road as soon as they are available from the council.

You can download a copy of the leaflet Newcastle City Council has issued for the drop in session on Tuesday 19 March 2019.

Statutory consultation process

The Streets for People website also states that “We recognise that some people involved in this process may not agree with the shortlisted schemes, and appreciate they will have their own preferences. We also recognise that the delivery of the above schemes are subject to statutory consultation processes and it is clear that some will be significantly more controversial than others. We hope we can rely on your ongoing engagement with the process to get a range of improvements delivered.”

 

Killingworth Road could re-open from May

The following announcement has been made by Newcastle City Council:

Newcastle City Council is advising motorists that Killingworth Road could re-open to traffic from May providing the weather conditions remain stable.

The council say current project timelines, barring severe weather events such as last year’s Beast from the East, could see the road partially open to traffic before summer.

Due to on-going construction works, initially only one-way (south bound) traffic and pedestrians could be accommodated in the available road space. Estimates show two-way traffic could use the road from July onwards.

Essential work by contractors is still taking place around the Metro bridge which has pushed back the early 2019 re-opening. Further construction work is required before the road can safely be re-opened to traffic and pedestrians.

Project manager, Jon Higgins from Newcastle City Council said: “We appreciate the inconvenience the extended closure on Killingworth Road has had on the travelling public and we would like to reassure motorists that we are working closely with contractors to open the road as soon as possible.

“Current estimates show that we could have one-way traffic using the road in May, but this is heavily based on no further complications such as severe weather conditions further hampering progress on site.

“We know this is disappointing for motorists and we appreciate their patience during the extended road closure, but safety is paramount before we can allow traffic and pedestrians back on Killingworth Road.”

The project was beset with difficulties during the gas pipes replacement programme with Northern Gas Networks which caused it to severely over-run.

Engineers have been reviewing the timeline to compensate for the delays but with multiple contractors involved and complex engineering work required the project has slipped back.

Contractors are currently finalising piling works to construct new retaining walls next to the Metro bridge. Once this is complete, construction teams can access the site under the bridge to do final road-widening works.

A phased opening is planned which will allow traffic and pedestrians with safe routes through the roadworks. As the scheme progresses, further road space will become available and two-way traffic will be introduced.

The council will continue the last stages of the works with installing widened footpaths, cycle lane, bus lane, vehicle lane and safer crossings.

Construction work will continue into early 2020.

Once complete, the project will improve air quality, reduce journey times and improve public transport reliability on one of the major commuter routes into the city.

The above news story was issued by Newcastle City Council and included on the Newcastle City Council website. It has been included here for information and does not necessarily represent the views of High West Jesmond Residents’ Association.