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. 

Disruptive works expected at Haddricks Mill junction

Newcastle City Council is advising of disruptive works at Haddricks Mill junction in South Gosforth in the next couple of weeks

The following announcement has been made by Newcastle City Council:

Temporary lane closures will be in place on Haddricks Mill Road and Station Road as council teams lay new kerb lines and carry out resurfacing as part of the £4 million improvements to the busy junction.

Half term

In order to minimise disruption, the works will take place during February half-term, with temporary southbound closures on a short section of Haddricks Mill Road, where Majestic Wine is located.

Diversions will be in place for southbound traffic for seven days, from  17-23 February.

Easter

The next set of temporary lane closures will be in place during the Easter school holidays in April. This is for eastbound traffic on Station Road, with diversions in place.

Cllr Arlene Ainsley, cabinet member for transport and air quality said:

“These essential works have been planned to minimise disruption to the travelling public and are focused on school holidays when traffic is a lot lighter.

“Our teams have worked hard to keep two-way traffic on all approaches to this busy junction, but with six roads converging on to Haddricks Mill, this part of the programme requires temporary lane closures so our teams can carry the works out safely and efficiently.

“The final elements of disruptive work, when we resurface the junction itself, and the approach roads, will be scheduled to take place over the school summer holidays. We’ve scheduled it for then because doing it before those holidays would cause significantly more disruption for people. In order to do this work as quickly as possible, teams will be on site for 18 hours a day where possible.

“We’d like to thank everyone for their patience during this disruptive stage of the programme.”

The works to Haddricks Mill was due to complete by late Spring, but with the late start of utility contractors on site and the scheduling of resurfacing work to during school holidays means that all works in the area will be completed by September.

More information is available at www.newcastle.gov.uk/our-city/transport-improvements/outside-city-centre/haddricks-mill-junction

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. 

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. 

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.