Seafront Sustainable Route

What's happening

We're consulting on plans for a permanent, segregated, two-way, safe space along the seafront between the North Shields Fish Quay and St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay for people using sustainable and active forms of travel.

What's proposed

Following the temporary pop-up scheme along the seafront implemented last year as part of social distancing measures, which proved very popular while also presenting some challenges, we committed to seek future funding to deliver a revised, permanent scheme providing separate space for cyclists and other users of sustainable travel, while maintaining a two-way route along the seafront. 

The new proposals, which are subject to a bid for funding from the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund (ATF), involve creating a permanent, segregated, unbroken two-way, safe space along the seafront. 

Two-way traffic flow will be maintained between Whitley Bay and Tynemouth and the proposals also include improving safety along the road by introducing a 20mph limit and various supporting traffic safety measures.

The council has worked closely with coastal emergency services to address and resolve some of the design elements that created challenges for search and rescue operations with the previous temporary scheme.

Funding will also come from the council and walking and cycling charity Sustrans.

What are the benefits?

It will be a major step forward for the Elected Mayor and Cabinet’s pledge to create a cleaner, greener borough as part of its declaration of a climate emergency.

Creating separate space for people of all ages to enjoy safely on forms of sustainable and active transport, such as bikes, skateboards and scooters, along North Tyneside’s beautiful coastline will also further increase its appeal to visitors, supporting the local economy. The current shared use path will revert to a dedicated pedestrian footpath.

The scheme seeks to address conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists on the shared footpath and also conflicts between on-road cyclists and drivers along the seafront by creating segregated safe space for all.

The proposals also support the council’s commitment to encourage more people to take up active travel and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

The scheme will make it easier for people to safely access popular attractions like St Mary’s Lighthouse, Spanish City and Tynemouth Priory as well as the award-winning beaches and open spaces and support local businesses as part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Links to other parts of the borough

The new route will enhance the existing coastal section of the National Cycle Route 1 and will improve access from other parts of the borough.

It will serve local schools and places of work as well as linking into the new transport interchange planned for North Shields and pedestrianised parts of the town centre as part of the council’s ambitious regeneration plans.

Find out more and have you say

A six-week consultation is taking place between 13 September 2021 and 24 October 2021.

You can find out more and get involved by visiting the online consultation tool.

Separate consultation events will be arranged at various locations along the coast - more details will be available here.

 

Frequently asked questions

Yes. A two-way traffic route will be retained between Tynemouth and Whitley Bay to retain access to residential premises, visitor car parks and servicing for businesses. For more detail about the route please look at the attached plan.
It is an 8km route that will run along the seafront between St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay, connecting to the existing segregated route at the Brierdene pub, and Front Street in Tynemouth, before connecting to North Shields Fish Quay and Northumberland Square, via a new route along Tynemouth Road and Tanners Bank.
Subject to funding, the route is expected to be operational by summer next year (2022).
We are seeking £3.5m from Tranche 3 of the Government’s Active Travel Fund. Further contributions will come from walking and cycling charity Sustrans and the council.
The scheme aims to make the seafront a more pleasant place to walk and cycle while retaining access for people visiting by car. The scheme improves access to the coast by all modes of sustainable travel by upgrading the crossing provision along the length of the coast. The scheme seeks to address conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists on the shared footpath and also conflicts between on-road cyclists and drivers along the seafront by creating segregated safe space for all. As well as cyclists, skateboards and scooters are welcome to use the new provision.
The proposals include several new locations for high-quality cycle storage in areas adjacent to local retail and popular visitor attractions, including Spanish City, Tynemouth Front Street and Longsands beach.
The current shared use path along the seafront will revert to a dedicated pedestrian footpath.
Yes. In addition to traffic calming measures introduced in 2019 on the A193 The Links at Whitley Bay, a 20mph limit is also proposed for the whole stretch between Whitley Bay and Tynemouth, supported by traffic safety measures.
Where seafront residents do not have off-street parking available to them, the proposals include retaining on-street parking as existing.
Two-way vehicle movements will be retained along the road. The council has worked closely with coastal emergency services to address and resolve some of the design elements that created challenges for search and rescue operations with the previous pop-up scheme created in summer 2020. Emergency services have been consulted as part of the new proposals and have not raised any concerns. They will still be able to adequately gain access along the road.
Yes. The new route will enhance the existing coastal section of the National Cycle Route 1 and will improve access from other parts of the borough. Links via South Parade, Whitley Bay, Beach Road, Tynemouth, and Tynemouth Road, North Shields, will improve access to the scheme from the west of the borough and link into previous and proposed cycling network improvements. The route will serve local schools and places of work as well as linking into the new transport interchange planned for North Shields and pedestrianised parts of the town centre as part of the council’s ambitious regeneration plans.
The proposals will allocate a section of the promenade adjacent to the highway, between Grant’s Clock at Central Lower Promenade and Spanish City, for cyclists, which will be delineated by relocating existing street lighting and seating and supplemented with additional bollards. This will retain all of the existing high-quality surfacing previously installed. The route of the National Cycle Route (NCN1) past Spanish City will be modified to tie into the proposals to widen and segregate the existing path above the promenade to the north of the Spanish City.
The proposals include a number of options with the potential creation of local one-way systems in Tynemouth and Cullercoats in order to retain two-way access along the coast. This will avoid the localised congestion on adjacent routes seen during the temporary pop-up scheme in 2020.
Several options for the route through Cullercoats are included, each of which retain access for vessels to be transported to the harbour. Following feedback during the temporary pop-up scheme in 2020 we have retained two-way access between the Cullercoats boat yard and harbour ramp as part of the proposals and limited any physical constraints along this section.
The majority of funding for the scheme comes from the Government’s Active Travel Fund. It is ring-fenced specifically for active travel measures that reallocate road space. That means it can’t be spent on other things. Other pots of Council budgets are allocated for things like road and pavement repairs
All car parks along the coast will still be accessible. There will be an increase of parking spaces along Grand Parade. Some spaces will be removed opposite the Grand Hotel to allow for the proposed new provision.
Around 2 million people visit our coast every year, which is far and away highest demand of any area in Borough. The coast is where the highest demand for active travel (walking and cycling) is. It will provide a continuous 8km route along the most visited part of the Borough. It will connect to schools, shops, attractions, and residential areas.
The new provision will be subject to the same road sweeping regime as the highway and footpaths along the coast.
The proposal includes 1km of highway resurfacing between Tynemouth and Beach Road, as well as localised re-surfacing where highway kerb lines are being altered. Around 4km of existing footpaths will also be resurfaced.
What drivers pay is Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) (rather than road tax), which is payable based on a vehicle’s impact upon the highway, hence they are weight and emissions based. A cyclist has no impact upon the condition of the highway therefore does not make a contribution, as is also the case with an electric car. Funding for highways comes from general taxation and not just VED.
We have invested significantly throughout North Tyneside in recent years and have ambitious plans to continue to do so for every part of the Borough. Our Ambition for North Tyneside sets out how the council hopes to help shape North Tyneside and make sure it is fit for the future.
Yes, it has been designed to the LTN 1/20 – the government cycling design guide.
It is aimed predominantly at getting those currently unsure about cycling to start doing so, those lacking in confidence to increase the amount they cycle, and those already cycling on roads to use if more convenient. During the previous temporary cycle lane scheme 97% of cyclists used the new segregated provision, due to it retaining priority over all side roads, and removing conflicts with both vehicles and pedestrians through the provision of a separate segregated space. We anticipate the proposed permanent scheme would enjoy similar levels of use.

Photo gallery

Video

Watch our flythrough showing the proposed route from Whitley Bay to Tynemouth.