Adele Bradley
By Adele Bradley

Senior Staff Writer

2 August 2021

| | 3 min read

Transport

Planned changes to traffic restrictions on Gosforth High Street

Engineers are making alterations to the covid-secure measures on Gosforth High Street to improve traffic flows and help people shop safely following the changes to restrictions announced by government.

Image of a section of Gosforth High street showing social distancing measures that are to be removed
Some social distancing measures to be removed on Gosforth High Street

Some social distancing measures are set to be removed along Gosforth High Street up to and including along the Great North Road to Regent Centre by Newcastle City Council, with work starting this evening (Monday 2 August).

Temporary measures were put in place after the first lockdown to re-allocate road space with capacity reduced to one lane each way, widened pavements, wider waiting areas at bus stops, new cycle lane infrastructure and additional bus priority measures, which impacted on the approaching junctions near the High Street.

With the removal of measures additional capacity at junctions is being reintroduced allowing for increased traffic flow at Church Road and Salters Road junction.

The council plan to retain the widened areas in front of the busy shopping area on Gosforth High Street to help support the local economy so businesses can use these as pavement cafes or to improve the public realm with potential for planters or seating.

Protected cycle lanes in each direction on the approaches to the High Street will also remain to encourage cycling on a key route into the city centre, while the no right turn into Salters Road remains in place.

Due to the importance of public transport, the bus lanes, which predated the works, will also remain.           

A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said; “These measures were installed last summer in response to the pandemic to encourage people to shop safe and shop local. They were also designed to increase social distancing and  to re-allocate road space to provide better walking and cycling facilities, as well as ensuring good public transport links on a key route to the city centre.

“We are removing the measures on the approaches to the High Street but will keep many of the social distancing measures such as the widened pavements  on the busy shopping area due to the high footfall in this area.

“This will also help support the local economy by providing space to local traders for pavement cafes during the summer months, and the potential to improve the public realm with planters and seating for people using this area.

“It is really important that as the city moves to recovery, we have good public transport links and access to better walking and cycling facilities which is why some of the measures on the High Street will remain.

“Gosforth High Street is a busy shopping area and by keeping some of the measures in place, we can help protect the vibrancy and encourage more people to walk, cycle or use public transport to this key shopping destination.”

The key alterations to the road include

  • Removing the social distancing measures between Hollywood Avenue and Christon Road, except for the protection of the cycle lanes.
  • Removal of existing restrictions south of Hollywood Avenue to restore two running traffic lanes southbound towards Church Road. This means that car lanes will still need to merge after Christon Road as the bus lane remains. 
  • At the Church Road junction, re-instating two lanes on the southbound side, one left only into Church Road and one straight on. Buses can go straight on from the inside lane and the social distancing measures outside the Queen Victoria pub will be removed to facilitate the merge south of the junction.