Saturday 23 March 2013

Newcastle sort of welcomes cycling

It makes complete sense to spill out Newcastle's excellent Northumberland Street environment southwards onto Pilgrim Street. Here are two streetscape expressions - before & after, Pilgrim Street, northern end, looking South towards police station / Swan House Roundabout.

Now :

 Later :
 Pilgrim Street for people

What is less clear is the inclusion of cycling in that space. The East Pilgrim Street development documents are more than hazy on the subject, even to the point of relegating bicycle use in the consideration hierarchy.

As discussed in an earlier post, Northumberland Street (of which Pilgrim Street is a straight-on continuation) is "no cycling" and a very illogical space at that - as heavy vans and lorries are allowed for deliveries. The Newcastle Cycling Campaign has recently received a bit more information from Newcastle City Council. It reads

"Whilst we understand your concerns regarding cycling on Northumberland Street we feel that it would be confusing to allow cycles on the street at some times and not others. This would be problematic for enforcement and for signing. Furthermore this confusion could lead to more cyclists riding on the street when it is prohibited causing a danger to pedestrians, wheelchair users etc on the street causing a safety hazard."

It means something likes this is too confusing?

Pedestrian zone shared out of hours

Council, come on, have faith in your residents!

Can you please stop your "cyclists are dangerous" propaganda? Or show us the evidence if you can. Darlington couldn't collate it. The extensive trial showed that cyclists and pedestrians mix, reasonably and considerately. And their city centre is now a shared zone.

Newcastle, what about your target of getting ten-times more people cycling by 2020? Just how on earth are you going to achieve that when you keep whinging on about cycling and keep discriminating against cyclists, by spluttering opinions? Giving up before even getting started.

Oh, and a recent Freedom of Information request revealed that the provision of free car parking (council revenue loss) was not based on policy or evidence, rather an anecdotal moanings from retailers.

Oh, dear council.

Let us pray for your sanity and the subsidence of your very own confusion.


  1. Newcastle lags behind so many other cities in this respect Leicester has no block on cycling in any pedestrian areas, and I think a call on other Cyclenation contacts will show this is a widespread situation.

    You rightly not the supreme ambivalence in the Council's contradictory policies - to increase cycling whilst banning it in a place where many would prefer to cycle rather than the Motorways that lace through the city severing the town from where the people live. Cue Lindisfarne Tear it Down (about building the Inner Ring Road in Newcastle - Dingley Dell IIRC)

  2. I received this tweet

    Matt Oxby (@MattOxby) 23/03/2013 16:03
    @KatsDekker Stoke enlarged pedestrian areas - no motorised traffic so cycling allowed - giving way to pedestrians of course

  3. There are some streets in Oxford that are pedestrian-only but allows bicycles before 10am and after 6pm. But I suppose they're smarter down in Oxford, right?

    If the street really does fill up with packed crowds of people on foot, it's only fair that people on bicycles should 'please walk your bike' - or something politer and less resistible than 'cycling prohibited' or 'cyclists dismount'. But if it's just a car-free street with a few people walking, why not let bikes through? (If anyone says crashes might happen, point out the council turn a blind eye to the massively greater danger of cars sharing road space with people on bikes!)