We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Clarity demanded on proposed bridge closures

May 15, 2021 10:40 PM

Salter's BridgeOpposition Liberal Democrats councillors are calling on Newcastle City Council's Labour leadership to make a prompt statement of its intentions on the council's bridge closure plans, after their cabinet member for transport was defeated in last Thursday's election.

A council report into the consultation over whether to make permanent the experimental closure of five local bridges was delayed before the election, but Liberal Democrats councillors in affected areas are now seeking clarity on the council's approach under a different transport portfolio holder (to be announced on Monday), warning that the current hiatus needs to be resolved.

Opposition transport spokesperson Cllr Greg Stone said "A deliberate decision was taken by the council leadership to delay the bridge closure decision in advance of the pre-election purdah period, knowing it would be controversial in a number of wards, and the transport cabinet member unsuccessfully sought to switch seats. It would be a cop-out to continue to delay a decision for weeks or months while a new transport cabinet member learns on the job. People living in the communities affected by the closures deserve clarity on the council's approach, rather than continued uncertainty on this issue."

"Whilst I have often disagreed politically with Arlene Ainsley on her handling of transport in the city on matters like the bridges, Blackett Street, and the John Dobson bus lane cameras, I recognise she sought to make a difference on issues like cycling and air quality in the city whilst holding a portfolio which inevitably attracts a degree of public controversy. On a personal level, I wish her well and am sorry that she is no longer on the council. "