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Newcastle LTN to be Scrapped but Communist War on the Car Continues

Councillors announce that Fenham LTN is to be scrapped because it doesn't work, but quietly plan a new 'high-tech' version to be implemented in 2024.

City transport chiefs said the Fenham LTN in Newcastle had made traffic worse on surrounding residential streets and that the scheme would be scrapped.

Council bosses have confirmed that they will remove a series of road blocks in Fenham, which were installed last year as part of the Government's Gear Up Project that features 7 schemes all targeting the car in some way or another. The Council had claimed that the LTNs were needed to reduce rat runs, but the same scheme elsewhere has been proven to more about control, and a war on the car, than anything else.

At the end of the 18-month trial, city transport officials deemed the scheme 'unsuccessful '– concluding that it had displaced traffic onto other residential streets in the area, had not prompted more people to start walking or cycling, and made “little to no impact” on reducing school traffic in the area.

Inevitably, the decision not to make the LTN a permanent fixture quickly prompted protests from a small but very vocal group of local activists who accused the council of “going back to square one” and “ignoring the bigger picture” (that bigger picture being Communism presumably).

However, all is not what it seems. Newcastle City Council will remove the LTN bollards that it had installed around Gowland Avenue, Nuns Moor Road, and Kingsway by next Thursday, September 7, but will return to the site with a different LTN design for the area which could be installed as soon as January 2024.

Labour councillor Jane Byrne, the authority's cabinet member for transport, said: “We’re committed to creating cleaner, greener and safer neighbourhoods and reducing the volume of traffic cutting through local streets is an important part in achieving this. Fenham was the first area of the city to pilot a neighbourhood low traffic zone trial and we haven’t seen enough evidence to keep it in place, particularly with the displacement of traffic on to what should be quiet residential streets, rather than rerouting onto the main roads.

“As we have said many times, these schemes are trials which are really important as they allow us to try the changes in local areas and see what works for people living in the zone.

“We also know that some people will be disappointed, but we’ve taken a lot of learning from the scheme, and we have a good basis for refining a future scheme by listening to residents and looking at the data in more detail. It is also important to note that each neighbourhood low traffic zone is unique, as we use the data we collect alongside feedback from the public consultation, in deciding on the long-term future of individual schemes.”

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