On the 24th September Newcastle City Council Cabinet voted to approve proposals to implement a Red Route along Gosforth High Street. Within these proposals were the straightening of the junction Salters Road / Gosforth High Street. This would remove 40 parking bays from the car park on Salters Road to be compensated by making some bays available on the High Street, and reducing residents parking permit times in streets near to the High Street to allow more parking throughout the day for people driving to use the High Street. The report presented to Cabinet can be read here (agenda item 7):
Section 3 in the report clearly indicates that those people who took part in the consultation did not want either of the Red Route options to be implemented. Councillors on the Cabinet appear to have disregarded this consultation result.
A Scrutiny Committee hearing was held on the 16th October with the purpose of reviewing the decision made by The Cabinet. Steve Kyte the local Conservative spokesperson for West Gosforth, the council ward where the majority of respondents to the survey lived, spoke at this meeting urging councillors to return the decision to Cabinet for reconsideration in light of the wishes of respondents to the consultation; 51% wanted neither Red Route option, over 60% did not want parking bays removed from Salters Road car park. Steve also highlighted shortcomings in the consultation process, several practical details of the proposals not addressed in the report, as well as concerns from businesses and residents around footfall and traffic levels in sides streets respectively. However the Labour dominated Scrutiny Committee reinforced their colleagues in Cabinet by voting not to refer the decision back. The decision of the Scrutiny Committee gives council officers the green light to progress with the proposals.
A published timetable suggests completion of all works by November 2015, with construction starting on Salters Road in June 2015.
We continue to look at the detail of the proposals and are considering ways in which we can challenge the Council's decision. We don't want to turn Gosforth High Street into a Highway.