New road safety plans sought after bollard removal

Several people standing outside park next to placard that says 'save our streets'
Some residents are canvasing support for alternative road safety plans [BBC]

The removal of bollards erected as part of a low traffic neighbourhood (LTN) scheme has prompted residents to canvas support for an alternative way to make their streets safer.

Jonny Coates, from Heaton in Newcastle, said scrapping the area's LTN in April led to a lot of "anger".

Another resident, Michaela Fay, said cars were back with a "vengeance".

Newcastle City Council said it would share its traffic proposals for the suburb and ask for residents' views "in due course".

Mr Coates said one major benefit of the LTN's removal was it led to an "upswell of people wanting to get involved".

Before April, he had three or four people in a WhatsApp group linked to traffic issues in Heaton but now it was closer to 50, he said.

"It's been a really pleasant surprise seeing how strongly people feel about the issue," he added.

Placard on tree reading 'council runs down clock on low traffic scheme' and 're-opens streets to 3000 cars every day'
Heaton residents are canvasing support for a new traffic plan [BBC]

Ms Fay said Heaton's streets had become more "dangerous" since the LTN's removal.

"My 14-year-old cycles [in the area] and has told me several times how cross she is," she said. "She really feels it on a daily basis."

Both Mr Coates and Ms Fay are part of a group trying to gather support for one of two traffic proposals the local authority made to residents in February.

In the plan they support, several residential streets in Heaton would be closed off to cars.

"It makes it much safer," Mr Coates said.

Yellow council lorry and a workman at a junction in Heaton, Newcastle, as the bollards for the low traffic neighbourhood scheme were removed in April
The bollards were removed in April [LDRS]

The group is producing a leaflet detailing the benefits of the proposal and how it might affect drive times.

"We shouldn't be having to do all of this," he said.

"But our plan is to perhaps do their [the council's] work for them and say, OK, we'll show you what support there is."

The second proposal would mean partly closing two residential streets to cars.

Mr Coates said he realised there would be a "diverse" range of views but wanted to engage as many people as possible.

"The council say they want to engage the community so we're aiming to do just that," he said.

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