Save Blackett Street Campaign Launched
Newcastle Independents have launched a campaign to save Blackett Street from Newcastle City Council plans to close the artery route for East – West bus services in the city. Blackett Street is the main route through the city centre for many of the city's buses next to Old Eldon Square and the Monument.
There has been a mixed response to the Christmas Market but the temporary closure of Blackett Street has proven extremely unpopular with commuters and Christmas shoppers alike. We believe there are better locations that would complement rather than compete with businesses located in the city centre all year round.
Campaigners from Newcastle Independents say that the temporary loss of Blackett Street has affected the reliability of bus services with substantial delays and insufficient shelter for people using bus services.
Tracey Mitchell, Newcastle Independents spokesperson for Denton & Westerhope Ward, who is supporting the campaign said: “Almost all of the bus services from Denton and Westerhope Ward, such as the 39/40, 62/63 and 71/72/87, to the city centre have been heavily impacted by the loss of Blackett Street. The temporary closure of Blackett Street has shown that it does not take much to create gridlock on city roads and sending buses through a less direct route through the city is never going to make city centre air cleaner.
“The areas served by buses that go through Blackett Street have no access to the Tyne and Wear Metro so have to rely on the bus to get to the heart of the city centre. Sadly, too few councillors have to use these bus services so do not understand the challenges that the closure of Blackett Street has created for people using these buses at peak times.”
This campaign is not a judgement on the Christmas Market but is a battle to keep buses running efficiently through the city centre.
Jason Smith Chair of Newcastle Independents added: “We need to make bus services more reliable and easier to use if we are to encourage people out of their cars and onto public transport. The council claims the closure of Blackett Street will make the city cleaner but they have already proven that the longer, more congested bus route will create more misery for people using buses and make air quality worse.
"It is yet another example of the Labour controlled council listening to a city elite and not to working people.”
The Newcastle Independents petition can be accessed at www.change.org/saveblackettstreet.