Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Too Much for a Few Cyclists; Views of the North

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Too Much for a Few Cyclists; Views of the North

Article excerpt

I can well understand why Newcastle Local Authority should want to bid for a PS5.7m grant from an Cycle City Ambitions Fund of PS77m that the Coalition Government has made available to the cities to promote cycling.

But I do question how they propose to spend it, and why PS77m was made available in an age of austerity when there are other much better priorities.

It cannot be a good idea to promote cycling in Gosforth where there are scarcely any cyclists with cycle lanes narrowing the Great North Road, red lines replacing double yellow lines that forbid all loading and unloading, and removing scarce parking at Salters Road car park to deal with an accident blackspot when yellow boxes and cameras would be much more cost effective.

And it cannot be a good idea to pedestrianise Acorn Road where short term parking is already in very short supply for the dubious benefit of cyclists but to the disadvantage of pedestrians, especially, from London experience, those who are blind with guide dogs and the disabled.

Both of these sets of plans threaten the viability of two very good convenience shopping centres that already have to contend with improved city centre shops, Kingston Park and on-line shopping; and not good news for all those who use them many of whom don't live in Gosforth or Jesmond, quite a few just travelling through Gosforth in city buses.

What concerns me even more is the Nanny-knows-best attitude of the Coalition Government, especially in the person of Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, who wants the number of cyclists in the UK to double by 2020.

London has a problem. …

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