In this article, a Cullercoats group of residents tells the story about their campaign to make their local back lane a “living street” and reduce traffic it was never intended to have. Over the last few months, they decided to take action so that Beverley Terrace can be used by little ones for outside play and also as a safe route for cycling and walking to the nearby Cullercoats Primary School:
At the rear of Beverley Terrace we have a lovely traditional back lane, which has ‘Play Street’ status that prohibits motor vehicle through traffic from 8am until sunset. We use this to access our garages and gardens which are across the lane and many children from the street play there. Others use this to walk and cycle when the weather is bad on the sea front or when preferring a quieter route and more importantly when children walk to Cullercoats Primary School. However, the addition of the large Beaconsfield car park and increasing visitors to the coast in general has made the road along the coast busier. This impacts on our back lane which now has many motorists using the lane to cut through from Marden Avenue, access other facilities or cutt out traffic on the sea front.
Like most lanes in Tyneside the path in the lane is not large enough to walk along, therefore any pedestrians, but particularly schoolchildren need to walk in the road with motor vehicles. When children play in their play street they have to constantly move out of the way for cars who are deemed to have right of way, even though the signs say otherwise. We would love to see this area made safe and attractive to walkers and cyclists, whilst allowing residents vehicular access to the rear of their properties. We recently ran a petition which has just been submitted to the council where we ask for further measures to be taken to discourage the already illegal through traffic from the back lane. Many schemes have been run like this around the country (and locally) where planters and other street furniture have been used to restrict motor vehicle traffic except for access. We know there will be many others in the borough who would like to see a similar thing done on their street, or a street near their school. Our local councillor, Karen Lee has been very helpful in organising our campaign. Mr Gavin Story, Headteacher at Cullercoats Primary School is also in full support of our scheme. Cullercoats Primary School encourage to park for free at the Beaconsfield Car Park from 0845-0915 and walk into school to reduce traffic and pollution on Beverley Terrace and Beverley Gardens, our scheme aims to provide a safe space for this.
During the recent pandemic it has shown just us how much we value our outdoor social and active spaces. We are certain that we are not alone in thinking like this as a street and really want to encourage others to try and do the same. We don’t think our street is special, or different, we would just like to improve it and hopefully start the ball rolling for others to have safe spaces to walk and play near them. We are looking forward to hearing back from North Tyneside Council and will keep Living Streets North Tyneside updated on our scheme.
Residents of Beverley Terrace
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You can find out more play streets and contact the local Play.Meet.Street North Tyneside group here