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KEY ROUTE: Heaton Road cycleway extension approved

KEY ROUTE: Heaton Road cycleway extension approved

Heaton Road in Newcastle, Image: NCJ Media

Work on extending Heaton cycleway is set to start next year as part of a series of road safety improvements agreed by Newcastle City Council.

This means the protected cycle route on Heaton Road will be extended from where it currently ends at Meldon Terrace, initially along to Cartington Terrace and eventually all the way along to the Corner House junction.

There will also be a series of other changes made along Heaton Road to improve safety, including: a new 20mph speed limit between the Coast Road and Meldon Terrace; raised and shorter crossings at junctions with side streets; changes to bus stop locations and on-street parking to help with traffic flow and visibility and a new crossing facility at Simonside Terrace and Burlington Gardens.

The council says the extended cycle route together with the additional measures will provide better links to nearby schools, enabling more children to cycle safely and reducing the number of cars being used on the school run.

The route will also be a key route for people travelling for work, leisure, shopping and other journeys.

Funding of £735,000 has been agreed for the first phase of works, which include the extension of the cycleway along to Cartington Terrace, with changes to that junction included.

More cash will need to be secured for the second phase of the scheme, which will see the protected cycle route extended further along to the Corner House junction.

Coun Ged Bell, cabinet member for development, transport and neighbourhoods at Newcastle City Council, said: “We’re making these changes to ensure that there are good quality and safe routes for people in Heaton to walk and cycle, including children and families travelling to and from school.

“It will still be possible for two-way traffic to use Heaton Road and for cars to park or access private driveways but these improvements are also aimed at reducing reliance on cars by making alternative travel options available to more people.

“We all need to think about the number and type of car journeys that we make and, where possible, to switch to active and sustainable modes of travel to help reduce air pollution and carbon emissions.

“We want to make it easier for more people to make that switch by ensuring there are good alternatives and safe routes available to them, such as this extended cycleway in Heaton.”

Plans for an overhaul of a section of the busy route have been in the works since 2017 in a bid to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists, but opponents have labelled the idea “an accident waiting to happen”.

Critics have complained that the scheme, developed under the council’s Streets for People project, will cause new hazards – such as making it more dangerous for cars reversing on and off driveways.

However, the council denied that this would be a problem saying it hasn’t seen any evidence of this through similar schemes in the city, and the latest plans are supported by an independent Road Safety Audit.

Work on the first phase of the scheme will start next year.

 

Words: Herbert Soden, Local Democracy Reporter


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