Keep Our Three Mile Footbridge
Newcastle City Council have announced plans on their Let's Talk Newcastle website to install a toucan crossing on Great North Road which will be placed directly outside of the entrance to the Three Mile Inn. There are already two crossings with lights to the north and south of this proposed third crossing. This consultation was active until Wednesday 9th of November 2016 but the petition still ongoing until an actual decision is made on whether the footbridge is put to public consultation for removal in the future.
In 1973 the Three Mile Footbridge was erected and it's served the people of Gosforth well for 43 years. The bridge is low maintenance and generates an income to the city council of over £10,000 a year. The city council released the advertising revenue figures to Gosforth Traffic a few days before their official consultation was announced. This bridge doesn't cost money, it generates money and provides a safe alternative crossing for pedestrians. It doesn't interfere with traffic flow or inconvenience cyclists either.
The city council propose to install a toucan crossing then remove the footbridge and use the available space which is currently occupied by the northbound staircase to create another floating bus stop in it's footprint. The current floating bus stops between Regent Centre and Broadway are already disliked by pedestrians and cyclists alike, many of whom have expressed their views about them on Gosforth Traffic. The current floating bus stops have no clearly defined shared space and the cycle path isn't even marked out on them, partly because there is very little room available in the first place.
This footbridge is one of the final remaining legacies of a time when the A1 ran through the centre of Gosforth and we at Gosforth Traffic would like to see this low cost crossing retained. Almost all respondents to our own posts about the footbridge have been in favour of it being retained. Our local councillors in Parklands are in favour of it being removed, however we feel that they should have consulted more with their constituents because the local opinion seems to differ from their personal view. This is a historical piece of structural engineering and should be kept as it is, preserved in it's present form.
The Three Mile Footbridge is used by families, patrons of the public house and visitors alike. One argument used by the city council was that the Three Mile Inn car park was used as a "park and stride" by local school children. This was deliberate misinformation. The primary schools are on the same side as the public house and Gosforth Academy is served by a school crossing patrol further up. There is no need for a toucan crossing for school children at this location. If a toucan crossing is required then we feel that the footbridge should remain. If this footbridge can last well into it's 50's then it could generate another £100,000 profit for the city council. It's prudent to retain assets such as this at a time of austerity, not spend thousands of pounds of public money removing a much loved piece of local infrastructure.
The Malhotra Group, owners of the Three Mile Inn were quoted in The Chronicle, dated 11th October 2016, as saying "In early Spring of next year we will also be embarking upon the build of a 64-bedded hotel within our Three Mile site". This proposed development will create even more traffic on a very busy stretch of road, therefore this safe route for pedestrians is essential and should be retained. To remove the footbridge is to remove choice and not all pedestrians welcome it's removal and replacement with yet another a toucan crossing bringing with it yet another set of traffic lights.
Please sign our petition and please share it amongst other local groups and your friends.
- Graham Grant, Head of Transport Investment
Newcastle City Council
Keep The Three Mile Footbridge
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