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.