11 February 2021| | 3 min read
Final few days on consultation for bridge closures
Newcastle City Council is reminding people there is just a few days left to have their say on the closure of five local bridges to vehicles.
The six-month public consultation closes on 15 February.
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.