Following the Covid-19 outbreak government guidelines have been introduced requiring people to maintain social distancing.
Recently there has been a significant increase in cycling and people out walking in the borough.
All local authorities have been asked by government to make quick changes to ensure social distancing can be observed and people can walk or cycle safely.
As a result we are proposing to introduce the first of a number of quick and flexible changes to roads and paths to:
- enable social distancing to be observed in areas of high footfall
- support the recovery of the borough and safe reopening of businesses
- support safe walking and cycling journeys as an alternative while public transport capacity is reduced
What are the measures?
The first stage of changes are:
Making the southbound section of the road along the coast between Whitley Bay and Tynemouth a two-way cycle route to allow the promenade and footpaths to be used solely by pedestrians. See this map for further details.
Creating more space for pedestrians along busy town centre streets to support local businesses and observe social distancing.
Identifying ‘pop-up’ cycle routes to link the coastal strip plans to nearby town and district centres and to provide direct access to employment areas where public transport capacity is reduced.
See the Related Documents below for more information about how space will be reallocated in different areas.
When is this happening?
The first phase of schemes has been put in place from Wednesday 1 July and include:
- Coastal strip cycle lane
- Fish Quay pedestrian zone
- Park View, Whitley Bay, pedestrian zone (Saturday only)
- Tynemouth Front Street footpath widening
How we've kept residents and businesses informed
We have engaged directly with the following statutory consultees, including public transport providers and emergency services, as well as key stakeholders:
- All three bus operators and Nexus
- Police, fire and ambulance
- RNLI and coastguard
- All local Chambers of Trade - Whitley Bay, Wallsend, Tynemouth and North Shields. All Chambers have then circulated the information to their members.
- Operators of local shopping centres
- Hackney Carriage Association
- Ward councillors for areas where schemes are being introduced
- Port of Tyne
- In response to anyone who has directly engaged with the council
- Sent letters to around 750 residents and businesses directly affected by the measures
See the documents below which show how the space will be reallocated in different areas.
Fish Quay Pedestrian Zone
How the Fish Quay Pedestrian Zone works and who is allowed to enter:
- Pedestrians and cyclists have priority over ALL motor vehicles within the Pedestrian Zone.
- Vehicles which are permitted to enter the Pedestrian Zone should do so at very slow speeds (5mph), well below the 20mph speed limit.
- Blue Badge holders can enter the Pedestrian Zone to park adjacent the Fish Quay or within the designated disabled bays.
- Taxis can only enter the Pedestrian Zone to pick-up/drop off a fare. A new Taxi Rank has been placed on Union Road for Hackney Carriages to use also.
- The 333 Bus will continue to run through the Pedestrian Zone
Hear from Cllr Carl Johnson, Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, on why the measures are needed.