Top award for North Tyneside cycle project

The Cobalt Cycle Scheme was among the winners at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Robert Stephenson Awards.
The Cobalt Cycle Scheme was among the winners at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Robert Stephenson Awards.

Work to improve a cycling network around the borough’s business park has won a major award.

The Cobalt Cycle Scheme, delivered by Capita for North Tyneside Council, was among the winners at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Robert Stephenson Awards.

Work was carried out to improve the cycle network around Cobalt Business Park.

Work was carried out to improve the cycle network around Cobalt Business Park.

It was the Small Project category winner, which was for projects under £500,000.

The cycling and walking improvements project in North Tyneside merits the award as it has provided innovative, high quality infrastructure which supports sustainable and active travel in one of the UK’s largest commercial business parks.

As part of its entry form officials said: “Implemented to significantly improve and enhance sustainable accessibility to the business park through provision of high quality, safe cycling and walking links between Cobalt and local residential areas, it provides a real viable alternative choice of travel to work for local residents, and aims to promote a shift away from reliance on the private car.”

Judges were impressed with the project.

They said: “The project was relatively unusual in the UK, stepping away from the norm, innovative, and helping lead the way in the advancement of modal shift in this country.

“The scale, impact and intricacy of the project was considerable and its implementation was well managed.

“The benefits to the community are considered to be very high in terms of modal shift with benefits reaching well beyond the boundaries of the construction work itself.”

The award was presented by Professor Lord Robert Mair, President of the ICE, who was at the Institution’s North East Annual Dinner.

Prof Mair said: “The Institution’s North East Dinner and Awards ceremony represented the very best of civil engineering in the region, and showcased many impressive infrastructure projects that have helped generate economic gains across the North East of England.

“The Cobalt Cycling Scheme is a perfect example of civil engineers using their expertise to improve the local community, by making it possible for people to cycle to work, in a high traffic area.

“It might not be the biggest project in financial terms, but it could have the biggest impact on the lives of those it benefits.”

The ICE North East Annual Dinner and Awards ceremony was sponsored by CDM Recruitment.