Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Anger as Cycle Lane Scrapped; NO ACTION ON FOUR-YEAR-OLD PLANS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Anger as Cycle Lane Scrapped; NO ACTION ON FOUR-YEAR-OLD PLANS

Article excerpt

Byline: DANIEL HOLLAND Local democracy reporter daniel.holland@reachplc.com @danhollandnews

CYCLING campaigners have hit out at council bosses for shelving plans to create a cycle lane on one of Newcastle's highest-polluting streets.

A major transformation of Percy Street was unveiled as part of a PS10m shake-up of the city centre's roads in 2015, with the introduction of a cycle route along the length of the busy road representing one of the most dramatic changes.

But that vision was never made into a reality and, four years later, Newcastle City Council has confirmed that it has no intention of pursuing any Percy Street improvements until it has finalised its plans to pedestrianise nearby Blackett Street.

Coun Arlene Ainsley said that achieving the council's long-held ambition to make Blackett Street cleaner and more people-friendly will inevitably result in even more buses being diverted up Percy Street - making the 2015 redesign obsolete.

The authority's cabinet member for transport and air quality added: "As Blackett Street is a heavily-used route for buses, this means that buses would need to be re-routed on to Percy Street and changes made there to accommodate this.

"So until the proposals for Blackett Street are finalised and we have an agreed model of how people on foot, on bikes, on buses and by cars will move around the city centre, it's not appropriate to take forward any improvements for Percy Street at this stage as they would need to be considered in the wider context of the city centre.

"In the meantime, we have excellent cycling infrastructure on John Dobson Street, connecting with other cycle routes for people on bikes travelling through the city centre which has seen a four-fold increase in the number of people using this popular route."

The latest emissions data for the city shows that Percy Street, where Haymarket bus station is located, is among the worst polluted streets in the city - with four air monitoring devices placed there featuring in the top 10 locations with the worst emissions record. …

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