Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Council Staff Spat at over Traffic Plans

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Council Staff Spat at over Traffic Plans

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Proctor Repoter

AN IRATE protester spat at a council officer during a discussion over controversial car parking changes.

The incident on Gosforth High Street in Newcastle yesterday afternoon came as Newcastle City Council officers ran a consultation information stand for residents on plans for Gosforth High Street.

The council is now assisting the officer targeted in the attack.

The unpleasant confrontation happened outside the council's Let's Talk van, which has been parked on High Street since March 16.

Council staff have been on hand to let residents know about a PS3m transport plan for the busy shopping street.

Two options include running a 'no stopping' red route down the High Street and re-arranging car parking provision, while a third option is to keep the current road layout as it is.

A document addressed to 'householders' explains the two red route configurations and people are asked to fill out a form with their views.

A Newcastle City Council spokesman said: "Both options are designed to protect cyclists and support local businesses at different times of the day and we believe they will ease congestion, reduce journey times, improve the environment and boost the local economy.

"A third option - to do nothing - is also there for people to consider.

"But we know that local people want to see improvements being made.

"If and when these changes are made, we would expect people to respect the rules of the road as they would anywhere else."

However campaigners against the red route ideas are unhappy with many of the suggested changes.

High Street resident and campaigner Dr David Wardell - who was not involved in Wednesday's spitting incident - said a contraflow cycle lane and parking bays in the middle of the main road would be 'dangerous.'.

He said: "Parking will become a nightmare and seriously, and unnecessarily, affect many of the residents."

A TRIP to the high street is hitting some shoppers as more than 500 parking fines are dished out raking in at least PS20,000 Traders in the busy Gosforth shopping street say the hefty number of fines handed out over a three-month period only highlights the ongoing problems the area has with a lack of parking. …

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