Newcastle City Council

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Christmas market expands, despite local traders' concerns

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Daniel Holland

The expansion of Newcastle Christmas markets has been confirmed - despite concerns from local traders.

It means the market will almost double in size as it extends from Grey's Monument to Blackett and Northumberland street and will run for an extra week.

But traders in Grainger Market in the city expressed concerns over the added competition during the Christmas period.

Despite the objections, Newcastle City Council gave new operator Mellors Group - which also runs Nottingham Christmas markets - green light to revamp the market.

Stalls at the market in Nottingham, which is run by Mellors group
Mellors group

Some of the attractions this year include a 30m tobbogan slide where riders can slide down Blackett Street in tubes and a traditional carousel.

Councillor Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment and culture, said: “I very much look forward to welcoming these markets to the city and am confident they will position Newcastle as a major festive destination, one to rival other national and European cities."

The market will take place between 16 November and 24 December.

Call for drinking fountains to return to Newcastle

BBC Newcastle

There are calls for water fountains to be brought back into use in Newcastle city centre.

Hundreds of people have signed a petition asking for 10 to be reactivated, including one in the Bigg Market.

Campaigners claim they help the environment by cutting the numbers of plastic bottles being used.

Newcastle City Council said it welcomed the idea and was working with partners to try and find a way of paying for the reactivation and maintenance costs.

drinking fountain
Getty Images

Fresh delays for motorists on busy Newcastle road route

Julie Cush

BBC News

Motorists using a notoriously busy route in Newcastle are facing 10 weeks of delays.

Killingworth Road, in South Gosforth, was closed in July 2017 for a £13.5m scheme to install a new Metro rail bridge and widen the road.


After a number of delays it reopened in July this year, but from today temporary traffic lights will be in place for more work to be completed.

Newcastle City Council said work on the road would be finished next spring.

A spokeswoman for the council said due to "particularly disruptive" construction on the route, temporary traffic lights would be installed to restrict traffic between the Haddricks Mill junction and the Killingworth Road Metro bridge until mid-December.

Councils to miss clean air deadline again

Daniel Holland

Local Democracy Reporter

Tyneside councils will miss the government’s deadline to finalise plans for cutting illegal levels of air pollution for a third time.

Ministers had threatened legal action against Newcastle, Gateshead, and North Tyneside councils if they do not submit their final designs for a controversial Clean Air Zone (CAZ) by 12 November.

But with a six-week public consultation on the latest plans yet to begin, that date will not be met – though the authorities insist the delay will ultimately have no impact on the anti-pollution tolls coming into force in January 2021.

Under the latest proposals, coaches, buses and lorries will be charged £50 daily to drive into Newcastle city centre if they do not meet emissions standards. High-polluting taxis and vans will also pay £12.50, but private cars have been made exempt for now.

Consultation on the plan was due to begin by the end of September, but the councils say that has been pushed back due to delays in legal advice.

Councillors should have been voting to approve the CAZ at meetings in early November, but that vote could now be pushed back to January unless a set of extraordinary meetings are scheduled before then.

Traffic travelling across the Tyne Bridge
Getty Images

Restaurant meal 'put nut allergy woman at risk'

A Newcastle restaurant which served a meal containing nuts to a woman with a severe allergy has been fined.

The woman had informed staff at Dobson and Parnell of her allergy on two occasions, but despite this her pan-fried black cod dish contained nuts, causing her to have a serious anaphylactic shock.

Newcastle Magistrates Court was told the incident was due to a breakdown of communication between the customer and kitchen; a lack of memory function on the premises’ tills to store allergy information; no mention of nuts on the menu listing for the selected dish; and the pressure faced by staff during the busy Restaurant Week, last August.

The restaurant pleaded guilty at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court to selling unsafe food and was fined £4,000, ordered to pay £3,000 compensation to the victim and legal costs amounting to a total of £10,097.50.

Since then, the company has reviewed its practices, training and management of allergens and has been included on the Lifelabs’ list of Newcastle’s allergy and intolerance friendly restaurants.

Dobson and Parnell

Roadworks to cause 10 further weeks of delays at Killingworth Road

Daniel Holland

Local Democracy Reporter

Drivers are being warned to expect nightmare traffic yet again at one of Newcastle’s most notorious congestion blackspots.

Hugely disruptive closures at Killingworth Road in South Gosforth had come to an end this summer after two years of heavily delayed roadworks.

But the site will once again become the subject of motorists’ ire from next week, with council bosses warning of up to 10 weeks of delays from Monday.

Due to “particularly disruptive” construction on the route, temporary traffic lights will be installed to restrict traffic between the Haddricks Mill junction and the Killingworth Road Metro bridge until mid-December.

The council says vehicles heading southbound towards Newcastle at peak times are likely to suffer the most severe delays.

Construction work at Killingworth Road in July 2019