On 7 April 2022, we wrote to the three Whitley Bay councillors asking them to urgently act to reduce motorised traffic in the ward, following two serious collisions in the town centre and numerous lower-level issues with pavement parking, crossings and congestion. The letter was signed by 22 members, all Whitley Bay residents or regular visitors.
If you like to add your name to the letter and show your support, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You could also write your own letter or email to your councillors, in Whitley Bay or elsewhere in the borough, drawing their attention – especially in the run-up to the May elections – to the need for quality, safe walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure by using our how to guide.
Dear Cllr Sandra Graham, Cllr Margaret Hall and Cllr John O’Shea
Living Streets North Tyneside is a local community group campaigning to make walking, wheeling and cycling easier and safer for people of all ages and abilities. We are part of the national Living Streets’ network, the UK’s charity for everyday walking.
We are writing to raise our concerns about the recent serious collisions which happened in Whitley Bay’s town centre over the last few months and ask you to urgently take action. We are writing on behalf of our members and in particular those who live and/or travel in Whitley Bay and have asked for their names to be added to the letter.
On 17th February 2022, a man and two children were hit by a car driver on Park Avenue. They were taken to hospital. On 28 March 2022, a woman was hit by a car driver on Park View an taken to hospital with injuries described as life-threatening. Our thoughts are with their families and we hope that all will recover and get the support they need to deal with the trauma of being victims of a road crash.
Motorised traffic in Whitley Bay is a real issue and we urge you to not just introduce ad-hoc traffic calming measures but to undertake a complete review of the road network and put in place concrete measures to reduce traffic in and through Whitley Bay. Fewer cars on our roads will reduce road danger. Sadly, evidence of careless or dangerous driving and parking is common place in Whitley Bay and across our neighbourhoods and communities. You only need to look at the close passes webpage that one of our members set up last year to realise how bad the problem is. There is also evidence that traffic in residential areas is increasing and yet, nothing is done, locally, to address its negative impact.
We believe that the built environment is the most effective way to address this issue and enable behaviour change. We urge you to rethink and redevelop our network of streets in Whitey Bay through the town’s masterplan:
- Adopt the low traffic neighbourhood approach to remodel Whitley Bay and develop a mobility plan which prioritises walking, wheeling and cycling over driving;
- Re-introduce car free Saturdays on Park View and use them and other events such as Fiesta to engage with local residents about the kind of streets they like to have in the future;
- Review parking arrangements and pricing and tackle pavement parking; and
- Reallocate road space on key corridors and create protected space for cycling and wheeling. Ensure cycling continuity and permeability in all schemes.
Whitley Bay is a great place to live and visit – we have great schools, shops, cultural and leisure facilities. Let’s not let the traffic spoil it. It’s time to put people first.
We look forward to receiving a response in due time.
Living Streets North Tyneside