31st October 2020
Dear Mayor Redfearn and Councillor Johnson,
North Tyneside Living Streets urgently calls on North Tyneside Council to grant the borough’s pedestrianisation schemes and cycleway a “stay of execution” in the face of another national lockdown
In June, as we faced a summer of fluctuating covid-19 restrictions, North Tyneside Council announced a series of bold measures, including the pedestrianisation of Park View and the Fish Quay and the seafront cycleway, “designed to ensure people can travel around the borough safely and feel confident and secure when visiting town centres, busy shopping areas and along the coast”.
On 20th October, the council announced that all of these measures would be dismantled, week beginning 2nd November, despite the continuing need for social distancing and the critical value of physical and mental health for our handling of the pandemic.
Today, we woke to news that a further national lockdown is imminent.
Moreover, North Tyneside is currently experiencing one of the highest increases in covid-19 infection rates in the region.
In this context, the removal of these measures to create more space for people seems reckless. The need to maintain space for walking and cycling, for active travel, and for safe, healthy exercise have strengthened. Indeed, it seems likely that the new rules to be announced today will say that outdoor exercise and recreation should be encouraged.
We call on North Tyneside Council to urgently grant the cycleway and the pedestrianisation schemes a stay of execution, and use this as an opportunity to reengage with the public on what sort of place they want the coast to be long term.
Living Streets North Tyneside
Living Streets North Tyneside is an inclusive organisation which campaigns to make walking, cycling and wheeling in North Tyneside safer and easier for people of all ages and abilities. Living streets are places where people, not cars, are prioritised and where the street is a social place that allows neighbours of all ages to meet and play.