£650,000 Cobalt improvement project complete

Chris Hughes, Capita's traffic engineering and road-safety team leader; Coun John Harrison, cabinet member for housing and transport; and Lynn Cramman, business development manager at Cobalt Business Park.
Chris Hughes, Capita's traffic engineering and road-safety team leader; Coun John Harrison, cabinet member for housing and transport; and Lynn Cramman, business development manager at Cobalt Business Park.

A £650,000 scheme to improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists around Cobalt Business Park has been completed.

The major project included upgrades to off-road cycling and walking routes, new crossing facilities and improved street lighting.

It was delivered for North Tyneside Council by its partner Capita and supported by Cobalt Park’s More team, which runs initiatives to encourage sustainable travel.

The project also delivers on the council’s Transport Strategy, which was agreed by Cabinet earlier this year.

The scheme included:

○ A new shared-use cycleway/footpath from Benton Road to Silverlink North, near Cobalt Hospital, including new street lighting plus a larger refuge island on Silverlink North;

○ A new shared-use cycleway/footpath from West Allotment to Quick Silver Way connecting to the recently-completed cycleway linking West Allotment and Holystone Interchange. The existing street lighting provision was also improved;

○ Parallel pedestrian/cycle crossings on all four arms of the Cobalt Park Way/Silver Fox Way Roundabout and the introduction of a new bus lay-by just south of the roundabout.

More than 14,000 people work at Cobalt Park. The proportion of residents who cycle to work in North Tyneside has increased, while cycling in the borough has trebled in the past decade.

Coun John Harrison, cabinet member for housing and transport, said: “Here in North Tyneside more residents are cycling to work than ever before. We already have an extensive network of public rights of way and traffic-free paths, but are working hard to further improve our infrastructure across the borough.

“The provision of high quality, safe cycling and walking links between Cobalt and local residential areas will provide a viable alternative choice of travel to work for local residents.”

Capita’s North Tyneside partnership director, Richard Carmichael, said: “The completion of these improvements is great news for users of Cobalt Park.

“Capita worked with the council at every stage of this project, from developing the funding bid right through to design and construction.

“We are also currently delivering a major improvement scheme from Holystone Interchange roundabout right into the business park. This too will encourage more sustainable travel as the project will contribute to improved journey times for public transport.”

Lynn Cramman, business development manager at Cobalt Park, added: “We deliver a unique package of active travel incentives for staff working on site. The hub has seen more than 500 people visit in the last year, with the successful bike loan scheme loaning 15 bikes a month to staff who are trying cycling to work for the first time.

“Campaigns target workers who live within a five mile radius of the park, which is easily achievable on a bike, and North Tyneside Council’s infrastructure improvements make accessing the park easier than ever before.”