Campaigners praise new cycle paths

The new cycle path on the Broadway, in Tynemouth.
The new cycle path on the Broadway, in Tynemouth.

Campaigners have welcomed a new cycle path, despite opposition from some residents.

The new cycle path, on the Broadway from Cullercoats to Tynemouth, has come under fire from some parties, with some criticising its bright colour.

But it has been welcomed by some residents, and now cycling groups have also praised the path.

Concerns over the colour have been dismissed, with officials saying it is industry standard and will darken over time.

Angus Ferguson, chairman of North Tyneside Cycling Campaign, said: “These new protected bike lanes are without doubt the best bicycle infrastructure that we’ve seen built to date in North Tyneside.We’ve already seen hundreds of local people young and old out on their bikes making use of this superb facility.

“The engineers and politicians behind the scheme deserve credit for what they’ve achieved.

“We’d like to see lots more of this quality infrastructure on all 30mph roads leading to schools and town centres across the borough and hope politicians of all parties will get behind this.”

John Dales, who hails from Whitley Bay and is currently chairman of the UK Transport Planning Society and a trustee of Living Streets, added: “The Broadway cycling scheme is just the kind of thing needed to enable more people to think that cycling is a reasonable choice for more journeys.

“Though innovative, experience elsewhere shows that everyone will get used to it and that the numbers of people riding on it will grow significantly.

“It’s great to see my native Council making progress like this, and I hope it builds upon this scheme to develop a good network of safe cycling routes.”

Tom Bailey, of development consultancy Almere Limited, said: “What North Tyneside Council have achieved in Tynemouth is hugely significant.

“This project raises the bar and will enable the Council to demand much higher standards in new housing estates.

“The quality of life that flows from safer streets is important for individuals and businesses locating in the north east.”

A spokesperson for North Tyneside Council said: “Cycling is a healthy, sustainable form of transport.

“Over recent years, we have invested millions improving cycling routes and facilities across the borough. We are proud that this investment has seen a 250 per cent increase in people cycling.

“Extensive consultation was carried out with residents, local councillors, utility companies, Nexus and bus operators about the cycle track on the Broadway and significant support was received for the scheme.

“The Broadway cycling scheme is an important cycling route, providing connectivity to other cycle networks and popular visitor destinations – as well as providing safe crossing routes for pedestrians. And we are delighted that cycling charity Sustrans has recognised the scheme as meeting international best practice.

“Now that the work is complete, we are pleased to see cycling has increased along this route.”

Neil Mitchell, smarter choices manager at Sustrans said: “This cycleway provides a safe, practical route for children, families and other local residents to use, encouraging them to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper ways to travel.

“We welcome the scheme and recognise that it follows best practice.

“The colour used is standard, increasing safety by clearly showing the route, and though bright when first added this will be less pronounced over time.

“Initial feedback from schools we work with nearby suggests that the new cycleway is very popular with children cycling, walking and scooting.

“We expect to see an increase in its use throughout the coming months.”