Re-instate the bollards
Re-instate the bollards
Why this petition matters
Re-instate our bollards
Please only sign this if you live, work, study, own a business or use services within the Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, area
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Collingwood Residents Association, 2, Fenwick Tce, NE2 2JQ
Jesmond Gardens is a historic area of Newcastle, with some of the oldest houses in Jesmond. It was described as ‘a rustic resort of Newcastle holidaymakers’ by a Victorian chronicler (1). Generations of schoolchildren and other residents have enjoyed safe passage on foot and bicycle from residential and commercial areas of Jesmond to Jesmond Dene and beyond via this leafy ‘quiet backwater’ (as described in The Chronicle in 1950 (3). The special nature of the streets was recognised when they were incorporated into the Jesmond Dene Conservation Area.
Victorian bollards as shown in the 1907 OS map of the area, shown above, were formerly situated at the junction of back Manor House Rd and Jesmond Gardens until they were removed by a property developer in May 2021. The historic bollards contributed to the feel of this street that is very much a remnant of a bygone age.
The bollards were vital to the safety and amenity of residents using these streets by restricting traffic in our narrow streets that lack pavements and are maintained at residents’ expense. Without the fixed bollards, through traffic increased, despite the ugly fence that was put in place. Drivers moved the fence into Back Manor House Rd to pass, leaving residents to replace it. As an emergency safety measure to stop this, wooden posts have been placed in the bollard stumps.
The property developer cited a need for fire and rescue access as the reason for removing the bollards, despite opposition from hundreds of residents. Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue service have since confirmed that they did not seek the removal of the bollards and that they had no objection to their presence, the junction being too restricted for access for other reasons. Adequate access exists from Jesmond Dene Road for Jesmond Gardens and from Manor House Rd for the Exchange. There are no public interest grounds for the removal of the bollards as far as we are aware.
It is ironic that Newcastle City Council has been expanding and supporting the creation of Low Traffic Areas in many areas of our city whilst ours is threatened. The Council felt it was powerless to prevent the removal of the bollards. The reasons given by the Council were that it did not own the land on which the bollards were situated (that section of Back Manor House Road is unadopted highway), and that removal of the bollards was not recognised as ‘demolition’ from a Conservation Area point of view. There was no pre-existing traffic regulation order covering the junction, presumably because of an oversight. The bollards had already been present for almost a century when the current legislation came into effect in 1988. There is an existing traffic regulation order across the junction, but that is to restrict parking (double yellow lines). Adderstone Group did not own the land on which most or all the bollards were situated 5
We argue that removal of the bollards has degraded the conservation area, will lead to increased traffic through unsuitable roads at risk to the public and carries no benefit whatever. We ask Newcastle City Council to
- put a traffic regulation order in place
- adopt the unadopted part of Back Manor House Rd
- replace the bollards
1. A History of Newcastle on Tyne. RJ Charlton 1885; p386
2. The bollards are shown on the 1907 OS map of Jesmond; the junction is shown as closed to traffic on all OS maps including current maps
3. The bollards are referred to indirectly in an article in the Newcastle Chronicle from Friday 5th September 1950. They can just be viewed in the accompanying photograph
4. Newcastle City Council’s Map of the Conservation Area
5. Newcastle City Council’s map of the junction gives their surveyor’s view of the location of the bollards and the current extent of the adopted highway