Map of Gosforth Election Wards

Local Elections 2022

Map of Gosforth Election Wards

Elections for Newcastle City Council are due to be held on 5 May 2022. This blog looks at what has happened since the local elections in 2021, and what local candidates and political parties are offering now.

We have looked at local election manifestos as these are where the parties set out what they want to achieve and how they will prioritise resources to achieve it.  Litter picks and reporting potholes are fine but don’t really distinguish between candidates, and obviously you don’t need to be elected a Councillor to do these things.

While SPACE for Gosforth is  focused on transport and the environment, manifestos can cover the full range of Council services including social care, schools, waste, planning and public health. We have included links below so you can find what parties are proposing in these other areas.

In 2021 Newcastle voted overwhelmingly for clean air and safe streets

2 of 3 votes went to parties supporting clean air and safe streets

In support of these aims the Labour-run Council has:


MANIFESTOS FOR 2022

Newcastle Labour have published their manifesto for 2022. Labour’s commitments on transport include:

  • Working with schools, parents and local communities to make walking and cycling to school safer for parents and children through safer street and junctions as well as through awareness of air pollution.
  • Working with partners to deliver the carbon zero action plan. This includes (action T10) development of a “City-wide Low Carbon Transport Vision”
  • Reviewing the plans for the City Centre and Old Eldon Square.
  • Introducing more Play Streets / Low Traffic Neighbourhoods / School Street pilots.

Not included in the 2022 manifesto, that was in Labour’s 2021 manifesto, is a commitment to take decisive action to tackle poor air quality, including introducing a Clean Air Zone. Awareness of air pollution is great but it isn’t sufficient by itself to meet legal limits.

The Liberal Democrat Party have also published a manifesto. This includes:

  • A commitment in the city to tackling climate change and become carbon neutral. “The climate emergency demands a rapid response but solutions must be practical and not just favour the affluent.”
  • Plans to decarbonise transport systems, for cycling, and for a massive scheme for tree planting.
  • More money into road and pavement repairs.
  • A holistic plan for joined up a public transport system that is fast, reliable and cheap; that makes low emissions possible for everyone, whether this is through low emission buses, better park and ride and cycle schemes, or safe and secure walking routes.
  • New houses to be built with electric car charging points.
  • Schemes are available to reduce the number of vans and lorries on our streets, particularly at busy times. Delivery traffic and public transport can be emission free.  

In Gosforth, local Liberal Democrat Councillors have called for a “Commission for the High Street, to decide its long-term configuration”, to “take into account the views of all road users, recognise the changing needs of the City, and provide a holistic view of all traffic movements in the wider area.” The have also called for “an expansion of ‘Pocket Park’ spaces on the High Street, providing environmentally friendly respite spaces for people to stop and enjoy.”

Conversely, under Environmental Policies, the Newcastle Liberal Democrats state, without justification,  “cycle lanes sporadically start and stop increasing pollution, car free zones create chaos and pollution elsewhere.” We have asked for clarification of what this statement refers to but at the time of publishing have not received a response. 

Our blog Air Quality – What Works? summarises the most effective ways to cut traffic-related air pollution based on research from Public Health England and NICE amongst others. Two of the most effective ways to reduce pollution are car-free zones and investing in low emission transport like cycle lanes, exactly the opposite of what it says in the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

The Conservative Party didn’t respond to our request for a manifesto and don’t have any information about the local election on their website apart from some brief candidate profiles.

Despite this lack of clarity on what the Conservatives would do if elected, they appear to be targeting Gosforth ward. In 2021 the Liberal Democrats had a 7.6% lead over the Conservatives, making it the third most marginal in the city after North Jesmond and Ouseburn.

While many Conservative candidates have sought to distance themselves from the current Government, the Newcastle Conservative candidate for Gosforth ward has publicly endorsed the Prime Minister as recently as 25 April. That being so, it is odd that Newcastle Conservatives are again going against their own Government’s Policy by proposing to “Bin the High Street Bollards“, referring (we think) to the temporary orange wands rather than the long-standing black bollards on the pavement. Central (Conservative) Government policy is that “Schemes must not be removed prematurely or without proper evidence. And any decisions on whether to remove or modify them must be publicly consulted on with the same rigour as we require for decisions to install them.” 

Our assessment of the new Gosforth High Street layout is that there is now less traffic, a bit less pollution and a significant reduction in people hurt due to traffic collisions. We definitely don’t want to go back to how it was before.

The Conservative Party have not indicated what they would propose instead of the wands. 

Newcastle Green Party haven’t produced any new proposals for 2022, but in their 2021 “Greenprint for Newcastle” they propose:

  • A shift to higher levels of cycling and enabled by with segregated, protected cycling infrastructure that is suitable for all ages.
  • The use of e-bikes (and e-cargo bikes) for those less able to pedal themselves.
  • Subsidising public transport through a workplace parking levy.
  • An electric shuttle service for those with mobility issues.
  • Shifting the transport of goods to more sustainable methods.
  • Investing in more, safe cycle storage across the city and encourage employers to provide more.
  • Creating Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and School Streets to encourage more parents and children to walk and cycle to and from school.
  • Offering heavily subsidised bus passes for sixth-form, college and university students.

The North East Party (Gosforth Ward only) have a set of priorities for Newcastle including:

  • Removing the toll on the Tyne Tunnel [in North/South Tyneside]
  • A new road bridge across the Tyne east of Newcastle
  • Review parking charges to encourage more people to drive into the city centre 
  • A new light rapid transit system west of the city

The North East Party manifesto makes no mention of pollution, climate, environment, walking or cycling, and we are concerned that North East Party proposals would induce additional traffic and increase pollution in the city centre and the east of the city. 

Local leaflets seem to take a different view, proposing wider pavements and cycle lanes for Gosforth High Street and further low traffic neighbourhoods in Gosforth Ward, all of which SPACE for Gosforth would support.

Newcastle Independents (Parklands Ward only) say their candidate will be “a new kind of councillor who will tackle ongoing issues within the ward that concern local residents: pot holes, upkeep of pavements, litter, dog fouling, grass cutting, inconsiderate parking and challenges with parking at schools.”

Most of these issues can be reported by residents or Councillors via the Council “Your Local Services” website.


How to Vote?

Information on how to vote is available on the Newcastle City Council website as well as candidate details and past results.

Party and Candidate Websites

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