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The Gosforth corridor is one of the most complex transport routes we have a duty to manage. At the moment it is not controlled using modern technology, and this means that in peak hours, journeys are slower, less reliable, and not as safe as they could be. It is a strategically important through route for people on bikes, buses, and in cars, while also being a local retail centre that attracts visitors. It connects the A1 at one end right up to the city centre at Haymarket at the other end, and over a number of years has increasingly seen issues with congestion, pollution, journey reliability, and safety.
The Gosforth corridor from Broadway in the north to Forsyth Road (south of Blue House) has one of the worst road safety records of any transport route in the city. Over the past five years, three areas on that route namely Hollywood Avenue, Church Road / the High Street, and Blue House Roundabout - feature in the top 10 for clusters of injuries caused by road traffic collisions, while the nearby Haddricks Mill roundabouts also features in the top ten.
Our proposals are based on upgrading the technology we use to manage our highways and are intended to link junctions and traffic lights through connected intelligent traffic signals, helping to smooth flows and enable those on buses, bikes and in cars to have safer and more reliable journeys. We believe our plans will improve the current situation, while enhancing the vibrancy of area – particularly around Gosforth High Street.
The different improvements we have made are listed below, along with information about forthcoming consultations on schemes at Gosforth High Street and the Church Road – Salters Road junction.
We are also working on new schemes for Dukes Moor junction with Grandstand Road, the Blue House roundabout, the Osborne Road junction with Jesmond Dene Road, and the Haddricks Mill roundabouts. We intend to release the schemes at this location for comment in early December.
Flooding attenuation works are underway at Grandstand Road / Kenton Road junction in order to alleviate flooding problems in this area. The primary aspect of the work is the installation of underground drainage systems in the corners of Dukes Moor and Town Moor. Following this, improvements will also be made to the footpaths and crossing points for people on foot and on bikes as well as upgrades to the traffic signals. More information can be found on Re-Newcastle.
The Broadway to Hollywood Avenue scheme is substantially complete. The improvements here have been implemented to alleviate problems with congestion, particularly at peak times, which in turn impacts on bus service reliability and discourages other users such as people on foot or on bikes.
The redevelopment of the area has included altering the roundabout at Broadway to provide toucan and zebra crossings and using cycle lanes to separate people on bikes from other traffic when heading south.
Construction in this area is underway. Although there is still one final stage of consultation to be negotiated, the installation of traffic lights with advanced stop lines and crossings for people on foot and on bikes is in progress, along with the widening of footpaths at the corners and allowing people on bikes to use them to avoid the lights when making left turns. Once installed, the traffic lights will be co-ordinated with those on the Great North Road to help the traffic flow more smoothly. This will help to address the safety and rat-running issues experienced in these areas.
A scheme has also been delivered in the Moor Road North / The Grove area to reduce traffic speeds and improve facilities for all users including people on foot. The scheme has changed the priority of the traffic; it is now traffic on Moor Road North that has priority, meaning that traffic on The Grove has to give way. In addition to this, a road table has been installed – a long speed hump with a flat section in the middle – across the junction to reduce the speed of traffic.
The proposals for this scheme aim to improve the poor safety record in the area while also improving the reliability of journey times in this area. Plans include the realignment of what are currently two junctions in order to create one junction with a more conventional layout. It will also include installing advanced stop lines for people on bikes and co-ordinating the traffic lights so that we are able to better manage the traffic flow. Although car parking spaces from the Salters Road Car Park will be removed, additional car parking spaces will be provided on Moor Road North to the east of Gosforth Central Park and we are examining other options for additional parking in the area.