Tyne & Wear

Gateshead Council U-turn after traffic plan backlash

Gateshead traffic
Image caption The closure of the northbound lane of the flyover led to tailbacks to traffic heading into Gateshead and Newcastle

New traffic restrictions in Gateshead are being scrapped after two days following a backlash from motorists.

The changes, including a cycle lane on an A167 flyover carriageway, were aimed at boosting cycling and cutting pollution but caused long tailbacks.

An online petition against the changes received hundreds of signatures.

Council leader Martin Gannon said the plans will be "substantially altered" due to the disruption to traffic and lack of public support.

Gateshead resident, Robin Lawson, set up a petition against the restrictions, which has had more than 800 signatures.

He said: "These are major roads into Newcastle and Gateshead... this seems like a rushed-through system."

Image caption There were lane closures at the Gateshead end of the Tyne Bridge

Following a meeting of the council cabinet, Mr Gannon said: "It has been agreed that the changes were introduced with the best of intentions as a temporary measure.

"This was while schools are closed and traffic hasn't yet returned to pre-covid levels, to try to assess solutions to deal with future traffic management concerns. The changes at this stage are causing too much disruption and do not have public support."

There would also be a "full, open and transparent consultation" over the need to reduce the Tyne Bridge to one lane in each direction for a period of over two years for essential repairs.

He added: "We also need an honest and mature debate about air quality, excess and preventable premature deaths and the changes that we all need to make to address climate change."

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