Tyne & Wear

Newcastle residents divided over small bridge closures

Stoneyhurst Road bridge in South Gosforth
Image caption Stoneyhurst Road bridge has seen less traffic during lockdown

Plans to ban traffic from a series of small bridges have split residents.

Newcastle City Council wants to shut the routes to traffic to make them safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

But some residents think it will cause greater pollution on other streets and cut off householders' access to their homes.

The council said a consultation would take place after an Experimental Traffic Regulation closure so people could see the effect.

Emergency services have already been consulted but did not have any concerns, a spokesperson said.

Salters Bridge, Castle Farm Road bridge, Haldane Bridge, Argyle Street bridge and Stoneyhurst Bridge will close in early August.

But people living near Stoneyhurst Bridge in South Gosforth say closing it would cause gridlock on nearby streets as parents take children to the nearby school and also force people to use the "lethal" Dene Crescent hill instead.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Castle Farm Road bridge is single-file and often extremely busy

Suzanne McGregor said the Covid-19 crisis "had been used to impose the closure upon my community".

Another resident, Lis Graham, said the Stoneyhurst and Castle Farm closures - which are within half a mile of each other - could leave her "cut off and isolated".

However, other residents support the changes, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Dr Julie Whittaker welcomed families cycling and walking more during lockdown but said the return of cars made it "too dangerous" for children to play outside.

Nick Simpson said the closures "would make the neighbourhood much quieter and safer".

The city council said it was "always difficult balancing different views, but we need to focus on our long-term ambitions for cleaner, safer and greener neighbourhoods".

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