New low traffic zone in Jesmond

Newcastle City Council’s installation of a new Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) in Jesmond has caused fierce debate and outrage. In March, the council closed several streets in Jesmond, installing bollards in an attempt to stop congestion and to stop non-residential drivers using the roads as rat runs between Osborne Road and the Cradlewell. The project […]

Alice Holmes
12th May 2023
Image credit: BBC News
Newcastle City Council’s installation of a new Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) in Jesmond has caused fierce debate and outrage.

In March, the council closed several streets in Jesmond, installing bollards in an attempt to stop congestion and to stop non-residential drivers using the roads as rat runs between Osborne Road and the Cradlewell.

The project aimed to make streets safer and cleaner for cyclists and pedestrians. The LTN is installed on an 18-month basis with public consultation running until September to decide whether it will be permanent.

The project aimed to make streets safer and cleaner for cyclists and pedestrians

Air quality will be measured, and traffic will be monitored over this period with AI-enhanced measuring devices installed on residential roads throughout the area and on boundary roads.

A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: “When we develop neighbourhood low traffic zone trials, we also monitor its impact on surrounding streets. Trials mean we can make changes if required, and we have seen a displacement of traffic on surrounding streets as part of the Jesmond East neighbourhood low traffic zone trial.

“The mitigation measures that we are putting in place are designed to restrict through traffic as some drivers may seek to avoid the closures and cut through local streets, rather than stick to more appropriate routes which are designed to carry higher volumes of traffic.

“These mitigation measures have been developed in consultation with the emergency services.”

The scheme has been polarising. Whilst many approve of the scheme to make streets safer and cleaner, others have claimed it has caused a congestion nightmare and has cut Jesmond in two.

Peaceful protests have been held in Jesmond opposing the scheme.

Peaceful protests have been held in Jesmond opposing the scheme. At one of these protests, a Social Democratic Party election candidate named Martin Evison stated:

"It seems like a problem which is being moved from one place to another. Nothing has improved, if anything it's got worse.

"I think they should go back to the drawing board. There's lots of other ways to make south Jesmond a more pleasant place to live.

"Two different people have said they have seen road rage issues with people getting angry due to traffic both ways. It just seems very badly thought out."

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