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From massive roundabout to massive U-turn

August 24, 2016 12:28 PM

Moor protest 21 Aug 16Opposition Liberal Democrat councillors have welcomed Newcastle City Council's decision to scrap its proposal for a major roundabout on land at Little Moor and Dukes Moor following Sunday's massive public protest led by Liberal Democrat councillors for Jesmond and Gosforth.

The Opposition have called throughout for local communities to have input into the design options for the Blue House and Jesmond Dene Road junctions - and had predicted the council would climb down and put forward alternative options ahead of a "town hall meeting" later this week.

The Liberal Democrat group believes it should be possible to design a solution for the Blue House junction based on the council's own 2013 proposal for a traffic light controlled junction on the existing road alignment, but is proposing that the council now tables other options it has already considered, with an assessment of their benefits and disbenefits.

Cllr Nick Cott (West Gosforth) said "We are delighted that the clear view of the local community expressed loudly and very visibly at our protest march has now been listened to by the council, but the council has only itself to blame for not acting earlier on our requests for wider involvement from councillors and the local community."

Cllr Henry Gallagher (East Gosforth) said "We are conscious that while the community has won a victory, there is still some way to go. We are aware that the council has looked at options that would prevent a right turn from Jesmond Dene Road. We are particularly concerned this could lead to increased rat running in High West Jesmond. We will continue to support residents groups to participate in this process."

Cllr Catherine Walker (North Jesmond) said : "The 33 bus service would have been adversely impacted by the prohibition of right turns onto Osborne Road. This service is essential for many Jesmond residents who wish to access Gosforth or the City Centre. It is the only service which covers the Osborne Road area of Jesmond and although other buses are available from the Cradlewell or Great North Road many residents cannot walk to these. Also, even though there is a metro station at Jesmond and one at West Jesmond, these again are too far away for many residents, particularly the elderly or those with walking difficulties, to access."

Cllr Greg Stone, opposition transport spokesman said "The council tried to exclude us from the process but they haven't been able to ignore community concerns. It is very clear that the council's plan was not acceptable to the public.

"We are glad that this scheme has been dropped but we accept that appropriate improvements could be made at this location to boost safety and improve sustainable modes of transport. We look forward to the opportunity for input into the design and decision-making process."
Cllr Robin Ashby (Parklands) said : "The huge participation by local people via the Council's website, social media, and in the March for the Moor last Sunday have helped to win this battle. But that doesn't mean they will just accept the next option to be put forward. Any scheme must meet local and regional needs in the long term but must also respect the opinions of local people."
You can read the Council's announcement here - and note the final paragragh