Improvements for cycling and walking in Gateshead
The government has asked local councils to look at what temporary steps they can take quickly to further encourage cycling after seeing a substantial increase in the popularity of cycling during since the lockdown, with far greater numbers of people cycling both for pleasure and for commuting.
We know we need to improve cycling and walking links between Gateshead and Newcastle and the Quays. At the moment, the roads around the town centre of Gateshead act as a barrier to both walking and cycling and we receive constant calls from the public to improve cycling and walking routes.
The changes we are introducing will therefore allow the creation of new temporary cycle and improved pedestrian routes in Gateshead town centre.
The changes we're making
All of these changes will be funded by government grant.
Our current programme means that the road works associated with these changes will begin on 26 July with a view to the new routes being in place by mid-September. They are funded and designed as temporary measures but we're already being asked for ideas as to what further measures we should fund as a permanent solution.
We need to improve cycling and walking links between Gateshead and Newcastle and the Quays.
The roads around the town centre of Gateshead act as a barrier to both walking and cycling.
We plan to create new temporary cycle and improved pedestrian routes in Gateshead town centre.
|Bridges Quarter||Gateshead's historic Bridges Quarter will have measures that eliminate buses and through traffic while safeguarding local access and deliveries to improve the area's environment.|
|Askew Road||Askew Road between its junction with the A167 and Wellington Street will be closed to all traffic except buses and cyclists.|
|Lambton Street / Nelson Street||Minor changes to access arrangements onto and from Prince Consort Road.|
Have your say
We are doing these works as an experiment and will be asking for your views and opinions which we will then take into account as these works develop.
However, our consultations are not about the principle of whether these works should be done or not as we already know we have no choice but to tackle Gateshead's air quality concerns.
Instead we are keen to understand if some of the details of these proposals need to be altered and we welcome user's views.
Feedback on these changes
These immediate changes are temporary, but we would welcome your views and opinions on them.
We will be monitoring the impact these works have over time.
We are intending to improve cycle routes around the Metro Centre and Team Valley. Further details will follow shortly.
If you have any suggestions as to what else we should be doing to improve cycling and walking in Gateshead, please visit Widen my path and let us know. We will review your suggestions and use them to inform future funding bids.
We now have a love to ride app that gives you information on cycling in Gateshead and ties in with offers from local business to make it as easy as possible to cycle and walk.
We are also running a bike amnesty, so any old bikes you no longer use can be donated to those who would like to take up cycling, and we are providing the opportunity for business to get bike stands installed. Visit Cycling in Gateshead for more information.
Why we are doing this
We have known for some time that the popularity of cycling, especially commuting, is growing and that Gateshead's present cycle infrastructure is a significant barrier to further growth.
There has been a rapid and significant increase in the popularity of cycling during lockdown, suggesting there is a large unmet demand for more and better cycling facilities.
With the present social distancing measures, capacity on public transport is restricted and travelling in large groups is unpopular. Cycling and walking are by far the healthiest and safest ways to get around during the current pandemic and efforts should be made to enable more people to do so.
There will be significant environmental benefits from proposed works. Gateshead has a serious problem with air pollution generated by heavy traffic and the council has been required by the government to take steps to reduce vehicle use on Gateshead's roads. These measures will therefore form part of Gateshead's contribution to the introduction of Tyneside's Clean Air Plan in 2021.