£10m to be spent on improving roads in Newcastle city centre
19/10/2015 Highways Reporters
Newcastle City Council will spend £10 million on improving roads in the city centre.
The multi-million pound plan aims to make it easier for people on foot, bikes and buses to get around while improving safety and cutting down on pollution.
Barras Bridge, St Mary’s Place, Percy Street, Great North Road, Claremont Road and Queen Victoria Road will get new traffic light technology to better manage traffic flow and access to car parks.
The schemes will also see road layouts redesigned.
Cabinet member for investment and development, Cllr Ged Bell (pictured), said: “One of the most important parts of our investment programme is renewing the heart of the city.
“We are committed to improving access to the city centre attractions and employment and want Newcastle city centre to be an attractive destination for people to visit, shop, work and learn which is why we are making improvements to our road networks.
“The city centre is key to our city’s future and we need to provide for the needs of businesses and retailers.
“Businesses rely on people to access their shops and services and by investing in transport developments, we can further support their operations and improve the economic viability of the city.
“We need to redesign the city centre so that it works better for everyone. This means better use of road space, freeing up space for people on foot, bikes and buses and improving the public realm.
“This will help us reduce congestion and pollution by redirecting traffic through the city centre and creating better public transport links and cycling facilities.”
The proposals for the city centre include installing intelligent traffic signals that can be altered remotely to smooth out traffic flows and provide real time updates on availability of car parking spaces.
Redesigning road space and improving access to bus stations with new bus gates will see motorists redirected and reduce rat running.
Where possible, pavements will be widened and greater space given to people on foot and on bikes and will link with the council’s flagship cycle scheme and bus improvements on John Dobson Street.
One of the key proposals is Barras Bridge – a gateway to the city and also to Newcastle University. It is part of the council’s proposed cycle network and provides direct access to bus stations, car parking, and click and collect facilities, making the area more suitable for people on foot, given the high footfall of students and other people in the area, including those heading to the RVI.
Proposals for Percy Street – a key route for public transport – would see access to car parks changed and the introduction of restrictions to limit traffic in this street. This street is heavily congested with traffic queuing for the car parks in peak times and the new proposals would see some cars re-routed through alternative access via Strawberry Place and Leazes Road.