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Liberal Democrats shock at Gosforth High Street announcement that flawed, confusing scheme extended

December 9, 2020 4:05 PM

Cllr Phil Hall - bus stopNewcastle City Council's announcements regarding their intention to "retain" changes to GosforthHigh Street have shocked Liberal Democrats councillors in Gosforth. Despite attempting to engage constructively with the Council on matters of concern, local representatives received no forewarning of these announcements, and have not endorsed them being made permanent in their current form.

Gosforth Liberal Democrats have raised concerns with the High Street scheme from the outset, noting that its design - and, critically, a lack of any signage - leaves pedestrians and cyclists unsure which lanes are designated for which road users. A lack of information regarding the scheme and changes to plans mid-implementation have left residents confused about its scope and purpose.

Cllr Phil Hall, Liberal Democrats Councillor for Gosforth Ward, said: "When we spoke to Council Officers and the Cabinet Member for Transport about this scheme, we weren't informed that the Council intended to make the changes permanent. We discussed a range of concerns, and asked for modifications which we're yet to see: For example, we asked for the one-way arrows to be removed, because that measure was never formally implemented. They're still there.

"We recognise that these changes provoke strong reactions from residents, and we asked the Council to engage a stakeholder group to discuss what local residents want in our area. We want to see improved cycling infrastructure on Gosforth High Street, and we recognise that the area has to change to cope with the climate crisis. Local groups have great ideas about what we could do to improve the area that we'd love to see debated more widely, so that Gosforth residents can come to a consensus on what they want to see in their area.

"Instead, we're left with a scheme that doesn't work for cyclists, doesn't satisfy pedestrians, and creates queueing traffic at key pinch points. Sadly, we're not surprised that the only district shopping centre scheme to be rammed through is in an area represented by Liberal Democrats ."