Blue House to Haddricks Mill – Comments by 21 August

 

bluehouse-looking-north

Newcastle Council have published new plans for Haddricks Mill and Blue House roundabouts. These will be major changes that will considerably alter both locations. Changes are also proposed for Jesmond Dene Road at the junction with Osborne Road.

The Council’s stated motivation for these schemes include safety, air quality and improving the efficiency of the roundabouts for motor vehicle traffic. All of these locations currently have high volumes of vehicle traffic and poor records for pedestrian and cyclist safety. The two roundabouts and the roads connecting them are also both part of the South Gosforth Air Quality Management Area. Information on traffic volumes, casualty data and air quality was included in our most recent article on traffic in East Gosforth.

Residents will have until 21 August to comment on the plans through the Commonplace website. The Council has also arranged a number of public events where you can view the plans and speak to Council staff. Times and locations for these events are listed here.

While we broadly agree with the aims of the changes – improving safety and air quality – SPACE for Gosforth will be looking at these plans to see whether these aims are likely to be met. So, for example:

  • Are there safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists through and across these junctions?
  • Are the routes sufficiently direct and easy to use that they will encourage people to use them rather than riding on the road or using informal crossing points instead of those provided?
  • Do the junctions promote the efficient movement of pedestrians and cyclists in all directions to make it easier and quicker to walk or cycle?
  • Are walking and cycling routes usable by people of all ages and abilities, and for cycling especially do they connect to a wider network of safe routes?
  • Will the new junctions encourage more motor traffic, which will counteract any benefits by causing increased traffic, air pollution and reduced safety on surrounding streets?
  • Are there better, simpler or more compact designs that will better achieve the same aims?

We hope to post more details on these plans once we have had a chance to evaluate them in more detail. Please share this post and the plans and let us know what you think too either, via the comments on this page or in the SPACE for Gosforth Facebook group.

7 thoughts on “Blue House to Haddricks Mill – Comments by 21 August

  1. Ioakim Spyridopoulos

    I think the design looks ok at first sight. Regarding cycling I have 2 comments:
    1. Will there be traffic lights to stop cars when crossing ?
    2. How long do cyclists will have to wait to cross the whole roundabout when coming from Gosforth and cycle down town ? If there are 3 separate traffic lights, each 2 min wait, then this could mean a very long wait standing in traffic and inhaling cars exhausts. Also, there is no point to encourage cycling, if it takes longer than before to get through traffic
    3. In the Netherlands, this roundabout would give priority to cyclists

    Reply
  2. Sandy Irvine

    I am a bit surprised that you do not emphasise the main objection to the Blue House: the big chunk being gouged out of the Town Moor. At the consultation tonight, the officials failed to provide any comparative images/drawings to show the scale of the loss nor were they able to put the loss of percentage terms. The images of the scheme all show fully mature and healthy trees. They also omit the extra traffic that might well be generated if, for the time being, traffic flows speed up. This scheme is retrograde, just a reheating of the flawed thinking that believed new road and/or bigger roads were the solution. The officials also cited different likely costs.

    Reply
    1. Rupert

      Sandy, thanks for the feedback. We are currently working through the plans to come up with a detailed response, which will no doubt include the issues you raise.

      Reply
  3. Sylvia S

    This a copy and paste of my comment on streetlife which I wanted to share here too.
    “What do the planners have against Gosforth? Having ruined the salter road junction with no evidence of improved safety, to any road user, no increase in cycling activity and with increase in tail -backs right to the pedestrian crossing near moor crescent, how can they justify creating a bottle neck by moving the Blue house roundabout 50 meters north of where it is!!?? how does this improve air quality for people living and walking about that area?
    This is going to be a disaster for us in Gosforth. We must stop it.

    Reply
  4. Rob

    The current set up is terrible for peds and bikes but it can be improved without cutting up invaluable city centre green space. Proposals are just far too big for the amount of traffic that only ever gets heavy at rush hour. I use Blue House every day to car commute but also run in the area so can see the need for improvement, but clearer lane signage, yellow box junctions, temp lights for rush hour and on ped/bike demand outside of that must be cheaper and more efficient and effective than this scheme

    Reply
  5. geoff

    I am with Rob on this. The roundabout does not need to be moved. It should be made safer for cyclists and pedestrians but should not make it easier for private cars. We should be discouraging use of cars for commuting from Gosforth area in to town,encouraging shifting to other modes (cycling, pedestrians and buses). Making it easier for cars will only encourage them. The loss of substantial space on the Moor should not be accepted for a small benefit.

    Reply
  6. Ioakim Spyridopoulos

    After actually looking at the plans at the public viewing I have to apologise for my initial comment, where I focussed on pedestrian and cyclist safety. It is pretty obvious to me now, that the plans present a monstrosity, designed to link up highways (such as at Kenton Park or Silverlink). May be the council should save the money, leave the roundabout as it is, and replace the busses with electric busses ?

    Reply

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