Tyne & Wear

Blue House roundabout plan 'over the top' say residents

Aerial view of Blue House roundabout showing current roundabout and proposed changes Image copyright Newcastle City Council/Google
Image caption A Newcastle Cycling Campaign member made a composite of a map and the council plan to show the scale of the proposals

A petition against plans to build a large road junction on land protected by an act of parliament has been signed by hundreds of people.

The Blue House roundabout, on the outskirts of Newcastle, is congested and unsafe, the city council has said.

The authority proposes moving it and expanding it on to the Town Moor.

Sarah Edgar, who started the petition, said the scheme was "environmentally damaging, very expensive and is completely over the top in its scale".

The 1988 Newcastle Upon Tyne Town Moor Act prevents development on the moor without permission of the city's Freemen.

They have been approached for comment.

Image caption Campaigners are unhappy with plans to build the roundabout on sections of Little Moor (shown here) and Dukes Moor

The Labour-run council said the current roundabout was congested, did not work well for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists and had one of the worse safety records in the city.

The authority said it had a responsibility to ensure the junction becomes safer and does not "constrain growth" in housing and employment.

The plans are at an early consultation stage, it said.

Image copyright Newcastle City Council
Image caption The Blue House roundabout, on the edge of Gosforth in Newcastle, is unsafe and congested and has to be changed, the council says

Hundreds of people had commented online and the response had been "overwhelmingly negative", Mrs Edgar said.

Residents have called it "completely out of proportion" and a "monumental and misguided waste of money".

Image copyright Newcastle City Council
Image caption Newcastle City Council has been accused of misleading residents by picturing mature trees in plans showing how the roundabout would look

The consultation period - due to end on 21 August - was a "very short window for response" when many were away on holiday, Mrs Edgar said.

"This is an irreversible decision that cuts into our great city's precious green space."

Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Greg Stone said the plans were "more radical and have a far bigger 'footprint' than many had envisaged".

"We share local anxiety that this has a disproportionate impact on the Town Moor - a unique jewel in our city's crown," he said.

"We would welcome clarity as to whether the Freemen support this proposal."

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