Solution to bridge issues needs to be found quickly

I WRITE in reply to the letter regarding Marden Bridge (News Guardian, April 29).

The correspondent may like the idea of using congestion as traffic calming, but there is legislation in place which prevents local authorities from doing this.

Managers from the bus companies have been on the bridge looking at precisely this issue.

And people may believe it is a minority of adult cyclists now on the footways, but people far more patient than I have done the counts and found it is the vast majority.

Yes, there is a small strip near the middle of each traffic lane where you can ride a bike without risking being hit by a car door or oncoming traffic.

If you are confident that you know where this line is and can control a bike that accurately, then go for it, take the lane, do your thing.

But this is not a viable option for the other 99 per cent of the population.

Is asking people to put themselves that close to a high volume of oncoming traffic really within the spirit of road safety legislation?

What’s been done on Marden Bridge is so far away from any guidance issued by the Department for Transport in the last ten years that it beggars belief.

My own advice for anyone not confident that they or their family know how to use this road on a bike would be to stay off it.

At times of the day when these bays are in use, carefully ride on the remaining footways and verge.

So, the question still stands, what’s to be done with the bridge?

If it is traffic calming then it needs to be done very carefully.

If a solution is not found before the road is resurfaced in July, then the amount of public money required to fix this debacle is going to rocket.

On a more positive note, Newcastle Cycling Campaign was involved in submitting a bid last week for cash to build quality ‘greenway’ cycle routes connecting North Shields, Tynemouth and Whitley Bay.

If it succeeds we will look forward to working with the council, businesses and local people to build a real asset for those who live near the coast.

But please, in the meantime, figure out somewhere more sensible to park the car.

TOM BAILEY

Newcastle Cycling Campaign