More streets closed in divisive traffic scheme – BBC News

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Image caption,

A number of roads have been closed to vehicles in Jesmond

More streets have been closed in a divisive low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) in Newcastle.

Throughout March, a number of roads have been closed in Jesmond as part of Newcastle City Council’s LTN.

Following complaints of drivers diverting down other residential streets, the council said on Friday it had closed more roads.

New closures came into effect on streets including Jesmond Dene Road and Akenside Terrace on Friday to stop traffic cutting through between Osborne Road and Cradlewell.

Phil Green, who lives in Jesmond Vale, said closing off the further streets would “completely” sever the community.

“There is huge concern about this. The original reason they left some streets open was for emergency services access, so I don’t see how they can now say it is suitable to close them when it wasn’t before.”

Image caption,

Jesmond is a suburb of Newcastle

But Burdon Terrace resident Tony Waterston, a campaigner with the Space for Jesmond group, praised the impact of the LTN for pedestrians and cyclists.

He welcomed the added closures as the “right thing to do for the long term benefit of the community”.

Traders in Cradlewell feared the restrictions would hurt trade by making it harder for customers to get to their shops.

One business owner, who asked not to be named, said the council should be offering extra support to help local stores survive and suggested the use of number plate recognition cameras rather than the bollards currently used.

‘Mitigation measures’

They said: “It is pretty much just carving Jesmond in two.”

The LTN has been installed on an 18-month trial basis with a public consultation running until September to help decide whether it becomes permanent.

A council spokesperson said the authority was monitoring its impact on surrounding streets and the trial meant officers could “make changes if required”.

They said: “The mitigation measures that we are putting in place are designed to restrict through traffic as some drivers may seek to avoid the closures and cut through local streets, rather than stick to more appropriate routes which are designed to carry higher volumes of traffic.

“These mitigation measures have been developed in consultation with the emergency services.”

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