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Newcastle scrap Jesmond LTN pilot following public consultation

Newcastle City Council has today confirmed that Jesmond’s Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme, which was introduced on a trial basis in March 2023, will not be implemented full time. Bollards will be removed next week.

The council said that the pilot had achieved many of the objectives set out when introducing the scheme but some residents experienced congestion and lengthened journey time as a result. Local businesses also told them it had impacted their trade.

green and white wooden signage

A public consultation ran  from the implementation of the scheme to 15th October 2023, with over 23,500 people expressing a view. 

Only 1% of those who responded had a neutral view of the LTN. 73% objected to it and 26% were supportive.

Critics of the trial tended to be in the younger age brackets. Only 20% of the combined 16-54 age group were in favour of the scheme, a number which rises to 40% among those over 55.

Those against the LTN regularly cited increased congestion as their primary complaint, with car drivers ‘by far the most vociferous and numerous in their criticisms’. The council’s own research suggests that, while in some areas journey times  increased immediately, they fell as the trial progressed.

Furthermore, some journeys outside the LTN became quicker: 

When looking at journey time data on the A1058 from Sandyford Road to Benfield Road (Eastbound), between May and July 2019, the journey time during the morning peak (8:00 – 8:50) was just over 5 minutes. The same journey during the evening peak (16:10 – 17:50) was just under 6 minutes. During September/October 2023, the average journey times were less than this with the morning and evening peaks averaging at around 4 minutes.

Many business also reported that their trade had been affected while others felt there was insufficient consultation with the public prior to the implementation of the trial.

A common criticism of LTNs is how they impact the emergency service and this was something that was raised during the consultation. However, Cllr Marion Williams, cabinet member for a Connected, Clean City, said: ‘We worked closely with our emergency service partners throughout the consultation period and they closely monitored response data.

‘Data shows their response times were unaffected and no road traffic collisions took place that could be attributed to the pilot.

‘In fact, the reduction of traffic on residential streets was welcomed from a road safety perspective and that is an important consideration for future projects.

‘To be clear, we would not have continued to run the scheme for as long as we did if serious concerns had been raised with us on this matter.’

The differences in residents’ perception of the scheme is evidenced by these two comments, both relating to the measures imposed on Shortridge Terrace:

‘This is causing increased journeys and worsening air quality along with mental health. The complete opposite effect to what was intended by this idealistic but impractical scheme”.

‘All the road closures have led to a much quieter and safer neighbourhood. Rat running was such a big problem for the area. To have that solved overnight has been fantastic’

Cllr Marion Williams again: ‘The streets involved in the Jesmond scheme have seen significant reductions in traffic and we have achieved many of the objectives of the project. However, anything we introduce needs to work for local people and it is clear that some aspects of this scheme have failed to do that. But it is not the consultation alone that has led to this decision. All evidence gathered, including the data monitoring, has been considered. There are lessons to be learnt from this pilot, including how we can better engage residents when designing future schemes.

‘In the coming weeks we will be looking to engage with people in the area to see what future improvements can be made to improve the lives of residents.’



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Anne Garvey
Anne Garvey
5 months ago

How amazingly depressing this is! Car drivers are the most vociferous it appears and among those, it is the younger cohort who want to have more car freedom. I feel they should be so grateful to their go ahead Council for installing this scheme, Here is central Cambridge we can get nothing out of the Council, the Tory County Council to assuage the rat running and pollution in our streets.

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