Overnight curfew introduced on e-scooter trial

Changes to Newcastle’s e-scooter trial have been introduced in response to initial feedback.

The following news release was issued by Newcastle City Council:

Newcastle City Council, in partnership with operator Neuron Mobility, are putting in place the new measures, which includes an overnight curfew on e-scooter use.

Since launching earlier in February, the trial has been overwhelmingly popular, with more than 5,000 people completing over 30,000 miles worth of journeys with hundreds of these NHS and other key workers. The vast majority of people have behaved safely and responsibly. However as with any new trial there has been a small proportion of people not following the rules and Neuron and the city council have been keen to adapt the programme quickly to address this.

The laws governing their use include anyone wanting to hire a scooter must hold a provisional or full driving licence and comply with the highway code.

Steps already taken to improve the integration of the e-scooters in the city have included the introduction of a city-wide curfew between 11pm and 5am throughout the duration of the lockdown in the city to ensure that journeys are limited to essential trips in working hours. 

Since introducing the curfew on Thursday 25 February, it has had an immediate impact, with reports of irresponsible riding significantly reduced. In addition, geofenced slow zones and no-go zones, and no-parking zones are being reviewed based on feedback and will be implemented continually during the trial.

Cllr Arlene Ainsley, cabinet member for transport and air quality at Newcastle City Council said: “We are listening to feedback from the police and local communities and are working closely with Neuron to quickly address issues where they arise.

“We have to remember that this trial is not even two weeks old, but despite that we’ve been able to use the data and feedback to make some changes already. This includes a response to some instances of e-scooters being used inappropriately and in some cases users have been banned from the service.

“E-scooters are a form of transport, currently for essential journeys only while lockdown restrictions are in place, and this trial is looking at whether they might offer a safe and environmentally-friendly alternative to travelling by car.

“It’s vital that people use the e-scooters properly and in line with the riding rules that all users agree to when they sign up. The consequences of not doing so are potentially very serious.”

George Symes, UK Expansion Manager at Neuron said: “We’re really encouraged by the overall reaction since launching in Newcastle, especially with the really strong uptake of the e-scooters from NHS and other key workers, hundreds of whom have signed up for free passes to help them get to work in a way that’s socially distanced. 

“In the first weeks of any new trial it’s key to evaluate how e-scooters are being used then quickly adapt to iron out any problems and make the service better. We are working closely with Newcastle City Council to address some of the initial feedback we’ve received from important groups in the city.  Since introducing the 11pm – 5am curfew we’ve already seen a significant drop in the number of reported incidents and we’ll keep adapting the service further to make sure e-scooters are integrated into Newcastle in the best, and safest, possible way.”

Northumbria Police are also urging riders to act responsibly, warning people risk being prosecuted and losing their driving licences and being banned from the roads if they fail to abide by the law.

The call comes after reports relating to their inappropriate use and a small number of people having been charged with driving while over the legal alcohol limit.

Chief Inspector Alan Pitchford, from Northumbria Police, said:It is important that riders act responsibly, abide by the law and ultimately don’t put themselves or others in danger.

“Unfortunately, there have been instances where it has been necessary for officers to intervene and take action.

“We would ask all users to follow the rules and laws in place, which are there for the safety of everyone, and that they fully understand the potential consequences of not doing so. 

“We would also like to take this opportunity to remind people that under the current Government Covid-19 restrictions people should only be making essential journeys.”

Jo Bullock, executive head of awareness and education at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which is partnering with Neuron on a safety course for e-scooter riders, said: “We see micromobility as an important part of the transport mix going forwards, and we launched our partnership with Neuron because of the company’s core focus on safety. We are pleased to see that Neuron is taking steps to make the trial in Newcastle a success.
 
“Ultimately, it is every rider’s responsibility to ride safely and follow the rules. All riders should make sure they look out for their own safety and also the safety of others. Don’t ride under the influence of alcohol, only one person should ride an e-scooter at a time, stay aware, and always wear a helmet.”

Important Riding Rules and Safety Guidelines:

  • Riders must be 18 years old and above
  • Must have provisional or full driving license
  • No riding on pavements
  • Helmets should be worn, every Neuron e-scooter has one
  • Be aware and remove earphones
  • One rider per e-scooter
  • Keep a safe distance from pedestrians
  • Do not ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Keep both hands on the handlebars
  • Park responsibly and don’t cause an obstruction

Further information regarding the safe and responsible use of e-scooters can be found at https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/our-city/transport-improvements/transport-… 

The above news story was issued by Newcastle City Council and is available to read 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. 

Bridge closure consultation period ends soon

The six-month public consultation closes on 15 February 2021.

Bridges closed included nearby Stoneyhurst Bridge, Castle Farm Road, Salters Bridge and Haldane Bridge.

The following news release was issued by Newcastle City Council:

Newcastle City Council closed five local bridges to vehicles in August as part of its response to the pandemic in order to aid social distancing as well as meeting the demand from residents for better walking and cycling facilities.

The bridges include:

  • Salters Bridge, Parklands ward
  • Castle Farm Road, Dene and South Gosforth
  • Haldane Bridge, South Jesmond
  • Argyle Street Bridge, Ouseburn
  • Stoneyhurst Bridge, Dene and South Gosforth

To date, over 9,000 comments have been made, with Salters Bridge in Gosforth generating the most comments.

All bridges are key routes for people walking or cycling to local schools or amenities but enable traffic to cut through residential streets rather than using more appropriate routes.

By closing the routes to unnecessary traffic, the council re-allocated the road space for people walking and cycling, creating safer, cleaner, and greener neighbourhoods.

Cllr Arlene Ainsley, cabinet member for transport and air quality said: “This programme of closures is more than just stopping traffic from cutting through local streets, it’s about all the environmental, safety, health and wellbeing improvements that come with it.

“By making small changes to our infrastructure, we can make big changes in how people move around their local area – whether it’s walking more to increase your daily steps, reducing your carbon footprint, getting to school safely, or just enjoying fresh air in your local neighbourhood as part of your daily exercise.

“People who need to drive on local journeys, can still drive, but there are more safe options for people who want to walk or cycle more.

“We will closely review all of the comments received alongside data we’ve been collecting, as well as feedback from statutory consultees which include emergency services, so please ensure you have your say.”

The consultation closes on 15 February.

The bridge closures will remain in place while the council conducts a review of the public consultation, as well as considering other factors such as traffic levels on surrounding streets, air quality, traffic speeds, how many people have been using the bridges for walking and cycling, air quality where monitors are in place, responses to the legal orders and feedback from statutory consultees, including blue light services, before making a final decision within the coming months.

People are invited to have their say at https://safenewcastlebridges.commonplace.is/ by 15 February 2021.

The above news story was issued by Newcastle City Council and is available to read 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. 

Council closes Stoneyhurst Road Bridge and Castle Farm Bridge

Newcastle City Council has announced plans to close several bridges to vehicles.

This includes Stoneyhurst Road Bridge and Castle Farm Bridge in the Dene and South Gosforth ward of the city.

Experimental traffic regulation orders

Newcastle City Council is using experimental traffic regulation orders to close the bridges to vehicles and this will be operational from 13 August 2020.

The bridges will remain open to people on foot and on bikes.

Under an experimental traffic regulation order, the first six months of the closure is for public consultation.

Newcastle City Council has stated that during this six month period people can leave feedback and comments on the closure and these will be considered before a final decision is made.

Information on Council website

You can visit the Newcastle City Council website to find out more.  Details are at https://safenewcastlebridges.commonplace.is/

Objections to permanent closure

If you wish to object to a permanement closure you can send your objection by 15 February 2021 to:

Newcastle Parking Services
PO Box 2BL
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE99 2BL

or email to traffic.notices@newcastle.gov.uk

Newcastle City Council news release

The following news release was issued by Newcastle City Council:

Many of the bridges selected are used by inappropriate levels of traffic for small structures, using the bridges to cut through residential streets. By restricting traffic, the council will also meet the rising demand for better walking and cycling in local neighbourhoods.

The bridges include: 
•    Salters Bridge, Parklands
•    Dene Bridge, Castle Farm Road, Dene and South Gosforth 
•    Haldane Bridge, South Jesmond 
•    Argyle Street Bridge, Ouseburn 
•    Stoneyhurst Bridge, Dene and South Gosforth 

A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: “Road transport is responsible for a third of our city’s carbon emissions and is the main reason for poor air quality. By restricting traffic in these areas we believe it will help create safer, cleaner and greener neighbourhoods and encourage more walking and cycling which has huge environmental and health benefits for everyone. 

“We’re listening to the public which is why we have a six-month public consultation where people can tell us their views. This will inform whether or not we make the closures permanent. We encourage everyone to engage with us constructively both on these changes, and others we will be bringing forward across the city.”

Initially concrete blocks will be in place on 13 August, but over the coming days and weeks these will be replaced with other materials.

Using Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders, the council has the legal powers to close the bridges to vehicles from 13 August. Statutory consultation has taken place with authorities such as emergency services and the legal orders have been put in place. 

Public consultation period will take place for the first six months when the closures are in place. During this time, residents can leave feedback and comments on the closure, and these will be considered before a final decision is made on whether to make the changes permanent. 

To take part in the consultation  please go to https://safenewcastlebridges.commonplace.is/ 

The above news story was issued by Newcastle City Council and is available to read 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. 

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.”

 

Haddricks Mill roundabout improvements to start

Work is to start shortly to improve Haddricks Mill roundabouts in South Gosforth.

The improvements are part of Newcastle City Council’s plans to improve key junctions across the city 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 upcoming Hadricks Mill improvements were also opened for public consultation in August 2016, although the work that is now to take place is much less than the original plan to widen the Haddricks Mill junction and replace the existing 2 roundabouts with 1 substantially larger roundabout.

You can read more about what Newcastle City Council plan below.

The following announcement has been made by Newcastle City Council:

Haddricks Mill double roundabout in South Gosforth is set to benefit from £4m investment to improve safety and congestion through an upgrade of the ageing infrastructure in the area.

A well-known collision hotspot Haddricks Mill also suffers from congestion, delays and safety issues – particularly in relation to cyclists.

Six roads converge

Six roads converge onto the junction which is used by tens of thousands of commuters each day, with queues building up at peak periods, leading to longer journey times and affecting air quality in the area.

The major investment will renovate the bridge the junction sits on, realign traffic lanes to improve lane discipline, re-position the mini-roundabouts to increase capacity and install new crossing facilities that will help balance traffic flow in peak periods.

This should have the added benefit of reducing high levels of congestion and improving air quality.

Cllr Arlene Ainsley, cabinet member for transport and air quality said: “Haddricks Mill is a notorious junction and I am pleased it is to be given a much-needed overhaul.

“This is a major safety and infrastructure upgrade scheme, designed to improve safety and smooth traffic flow at peak periods – reducing congestion and encouraging more sustainable choices of travel – which should improve air quality.

“Due to the junction’s location over the Ouseburn and several businesses lining the approaches, the options available to improve it are limited but we have designed a scheme that delivers safety and congestion improvements for one of the key routes into the city and which takes into account residents’ feedback from our earlier consultation.”

The works are a scaled-down version of the proposals the council consulted on in 2016 and addresses many of the concerns raised by residents such as the size of the junction, changes to access to a local housing estate and proposed banned turns and movements.

Work will last until 2020

The council plans to take advantage of the current closure on Killingworth Road to start preparatory work on the junction, reducing the disruption to commuters before the main works start.

The main programme of work to the carriageway will be begin this spring and should last until early 2020.

However, the council is committed to minimising disruption and keeping two-way traffic on all approaches – apart from occasional night-time and weekend closures for resurfacing towards the end of the programme.

Minor tree removal is necessary with up to ten trees needing to be removed as part of the scheme, but the council will replace them with at least 30 trees to further improve the environment.

The full package of improvements includes:

•           Water-proofing and maintenance to the bridge the junction sits on

•           Re-construction of carriageway

•           Raised bridge parapets to improve safety

•           Realignment of the roundabouts to increase capacity

•           Widened lanes and better signage to improve lane discipline

•           Improved crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists on the main arms of the junction to control the flow of traffic at peak periods

•           Improved cycling and walking facilities including accessible routes to the Wagon Way

•           Segregated cycle lanes incorporated where space allows

•           Raised table to reduce speeding on Hunters Road

Full plans for Haddricks Mill junction

You can also download the full plans for Haddricks Mill junction.

And read more in a leaflet produced by Newcastle City Council.

Planned Newcastle Northern Access Corridor road

The works to Haddricks Mill is part of planned improvements for a key transport corridor which runs from Cowgate to the north of the city, including Blue House roundabout, Haddricks Mill and Killingworth Road.

Revised Blue House Roundabout plans

Final designs for Blue House are being developed and modelled based on recommendations from a working group set up following the backlash to original proposals in the summer of 2016.

These will be publicised this summer.

Killingworth Road ongoing works

We’re investing over £13.5m to widen the well-known pinch point at Killingworth Road.

This funding is focused on addressing some major maintenance issues including the retaining wall and ensuring the bridge over the Ouse that the Haddricks Mill junction sits on is safe for future generations.

Over-runs to the gas diversion works has meant a delay to the re-opening of Killingworth Road. Newcastle City Council would like to thank everyone for their patience during the roadworks. You can read more here.

The project received £4m from the Government’s Local Growth Deal through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The Local Growth Deal is supporting major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport as part of the North East Growth Deal.

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. 

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.