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Gosforth eFocus No 36 - mid June 2015 - more news, more quickly

June 15, 2015 4:41 PM


Or put another way, the two candidates, Tim Farron MP and Norman Lamb MP, will be addressing Liberal Democrat Party members from across the north east at Leadership hustings in Newcastle on Friday.


There's a temporary traffic regulation order for the suspension of the southbound bus lane on Great North Road between Polwarth Drive Roundabout and Broadway Roundabout. It's required to ensure that health and safety is maintained whilst resurfacing works on Great North Road are completed.

The legal order will start from 6 July 2015 and will last for 3 months. However it is anticipated that the restriction will only be required for 4 weeks during the Order, though the restriction will be intermittent during this time. The remainder of the closure is as a contingency in the event of unforeseen difficulties


This will involve the replacement of track and a major track junction at Regent Centre and the surrounding area, which is part of the £389m Metro: all change modernisation programme. The specific area is between the rear of Gosforth Academy, through Regent Centre Metro Station to the rear of Cheswick Drive.

There will be activity in the area between Monday, 22 June 2015 and early September 2015. Work will take place between the hours of 12:30am and 4:30am when Metro services are not in operation

A substantial amount of this work will be carried out during 4 weekend Metro closures when engineers were able to work around the clock for 54 hours. These dates will be:

  • Saturday, 18 July - Sunday, 19 July 2015
  • Saturday, 25 July - Sunday, 26 July 2015
  • Saturday, 8 August - Sunday, 9 August 2015
  • Saturday, 15 August - Sunday, 16 August 2015


It is anticipated that Gosforth racecourse will close from 7th September for 6 months. When it re-opens for racing after 6 months or so, there will be an unlit all-weather track for flat racing outside a turf track for jumps. There will be a "straight mile" which will be floodlit at the north (i.e. running towards the stands".

The plan is for up to 60 meetings a year, 14 of which will be floodlit. Unlike the Plate Festival (25-27 June - see below) and Ladies Day in July, which can attract 20,000 or more people, most of the all-weather meetings are staged mainly for the Far East TV and betting markets, so may attract only a thousand or so people. But they'll have a big economic impact in the City and the North.


Thursday 25th June - Gates open just after noon, last race 5.40pm

Friday 26th June - clean up starts at 6 am, gates open 4.10 pm, last race 9.20 pm, there'll be music until 1030 pm

Saturday 27th June - gates open 11.00 am, North Shields FC will show off the FA Vase and an Armed Forces Day ceremonial guard for the Plate itself, last race 4.55 pm, music 5.30 pm to slow leaving

Sunday 28th June - clean up

Special traffic arrangements will be in force around the racecourse throughout the Festival

Spandau Ballet will also appear after the meeting on 28th August


Meanwhile, McDonalds restaurant opposite the racecourse has agreed to erect and empty further rubbish bins on either side of the road north of the roundabout, and the Racecourse has offered to put one south of its entrance. They replace the one which Newcastle City Council refuses to replace. Community and business action trumps Labour council policies….


A drop-in meeting has been held, attended by Henry Gallagher and Peter Leggott. Newcastle City Council wants to significantly improve the junction at Haddricks Mil, making it safer for everyone, and ensuring that the changes made reduce queuing traffic and congestion, and improve the reliability of journey times, including on public transport.

By reducing Hollywood Avenue to 20mph and temporarily closing the bridge at the east end of Hollywood Avenue, it hopes to avoid high levels of traffic using Garden Village as a cut through, both before and during the works, to ensure the safety of residents and school children.

We'll bring further details in a future edition of eFocus but in the mean time you can read the letter to residents at http://newcastle-libdems.org.uk/en/document/traffic-and-highways/salters-bridge-closure


These include

  • Proposed 'No loading or unloading' restriction between 8.00am to 9.30am and 2.30pm to 4.00pm Monday - Friday
  • Proposed 'No loading or unloading at any time' restriction on all junctions.
  • The 'school keep clear' markings to be placed on Hartford Road as an alternative to the markings covering the entrance to the junction
  • The proposed widening of the footway and installing a pedestrian refuge on Strathmore Road will improve accessibility for pedestrians crossing at this point.
  • The proposed raised footway crossing on Granville Road will reduce vehicle speeds and improve accessibility for pedestrians.
  • The proposed 'Give Way' and 'pedestrian' markings as well as signs located near the school entrance will highlight to drivers that pedestrians will be crossing at this location.
  • The legally enforceable Disabled Parking Bay will provide parking provision for blue badge holders.

The consequence of all this should be an improvement in child safety, but a decrease in capacity close to the schools for parking, loading and unloading. The new regulations will be enforced. If you'd like a map of what is proposed for where, email us here.


Pauline, David and Robin met with David Abercrombie, of the Consortium, and Mick Firth, of Newcastle City Council, on 12 June to discuss the issue of access to the Bund which is situated to the rear of Barmoor Drive. They posted this on various Facebook pages, along with an appeal for reasonable behaviour and moderate language:

"Our aim was to clarify the purpose and legal position of the Bund. David Abercrombie gave us information and answered our questions.
"There are three elements to the Bund:
• Drainage, to prevent flooding in the area
• Landscaping, which was required as part of the planning approval
• As a wildlife habitat
It is not, and never has been, a legal right of way.
"We are aware that the City Council's website shows a draft plan of Strategic Routes, dated 2006, but this plan was, in fact, superseded by an amended one showing the finalised Strategic Routes, drawn up when the Section 106 Agreement for the Great Park development was re-negotiated in 2008. (This may have been 2010 - copy being sought. The reason for not updating the Council's website has not been adequately explained)
"We understand that the Consortium have been told by the police to secure the area behind Barmoor Drive. The Consortium intends to do this by strategic planting at either end of the Bund. This will replace the vandalised trees and plants. The aim of this is to protect the three main purposes of the area, as set out above.
"We have also been told that interpretation panels showing spaces for public use and open access will soon be installed in the area as part of the Ranger Service for the Great Park."

The Consortium will be undertaking their own "surgeries" where local people can discuss direct those issues which aren't the Council's responsibilities.


Small but valuable change at the Regent Centre / Great North Road traffic lights : sign for those leaving Hollywood Avenue - Right turners : please give way to oncoming traffic (That is, those leaving Regent Centre) A previous cause of confusion, anxiety and near misses…


Local residents have had a preliminary meeting and agreed that the WPRA should be revived. If you live on Whitebridge Park, you can get onto the mailing list by mailing robin.ashby5@yahoo.co.uk and/or via the closed page on Facebook. The first (light hearted) task is to try to get the bridge painted white!


John, Lord Shipley, speaking in the Queen's Speech debate

The financial situation remains difficult for Councils….

See full text at


Gosforth eFocus is brought to you by
​David Down, Pauline Allen and ​Robin Ashby ​.
Liberal Democrat Councillor​s​ for Parklands Ward
Reporting email ​:​ david.down@newcastle-libdems.org.uk
Henry Gallagher, Peter Leggott and David Slesenger ​.
Liberal Democrat Councillors for East Gosforth
Reporting email : henry.gallagher@newcastle-libdems.org.uk
Jackie Slesenger, Bill Shepherd and Nick Cott ​ ​
Liberal Democrat Councillors for West Gosforth ​
Reporting email : wgosforth@newcastle-libdems.org.uk
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