Northumberland Street is Newcastle's main shopping street. It was, under much opposition from retailers, pedestrianised in the late 90s. It's now hailed a great success by everyone. And I mean everyone.
Yet something weird is going on on Northumberland Street. Too much of this, and too little of the other. What is it? Let's take a look.
Cycling isn't allowed on Northumberland Street despite it being the only safe route through the city centre on the North-South axis.
Campaigners have long argued that council should ditch its discrimination and permit cycling - at the very least out of shopping hours. Other cities can do it (my hometown does) so why not here? Start with a trial.
Or may cycling actually be allowed already? Or what does 'cycling forbidden' plus 'no cycling' mean?
What really compounds the silliness is the permission of - not just street sweepers but - large delivery and service vehicles being driven through the pedestrian masses - at all times - despite a sign saying it's not allowed during shopping hours. The council - in its sheer and utter wisdom - appears to have failed applying for the right traffic orders at the time (and are trying to rectify that now, years later).
And some snow tracks here to reveal the extent of the problem:
Latest plans seem to suggest that an alternative route will be developed in the short term, and John Dobson Street is council's favoured choice.
Ok, then. I ask: when? When will we be able to safely cycle through Newcastle?
In the meantime maybe this is the sign bike folks are advised to follow: