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Newcastles main shopping area to be a car-free zone

Newcastle City Council has announced plans to make part of its city centre a car-free zone.

The proposals include changing the way the space within the city is used, with plans for more green areas and spaces for events and activities.

One of the main changes will be making Blackett Street a car-free zone, with buses re-routed to create a more people-friendly area.

The council said that they hope these changes will allow events and activities to take place on Blackett Street, which will, in turn, encourage people into the city to support local retailers.

Residents and businesses are invited to comment on the proposals as part of a consultation that is taking place until January 31.

Newcastle’s Clean Air Zone is due to come into operation in 2021. There will be £50 charges for HGVs, buses and coaches and £12.50 for taxis and vans. 

Newer petrol vans and taxis that meet Euro 4 standards will be exempt, along with Euro 6 diesel vehicles. 

Cllr Arlene Ainsley, cabinet member for transport and air quality at Newcastle City Council, said: ‘We’ve seen how the Christmas market and the temporary changes over the past two summers have brought a real buzz to Newcastle, and this has shown the potential to transform the city and the local economy by making changes to our roads and public spaces.

‘We believe that taking vehicles off Blackett Street will make a huge difference to the city.

‘It’s a very busy shopping area, so it’s important that this is a safe and welcoming environment.

‘Our intention is for buses to use alternative routes through the city while continuing to stop at locations close to the main shopping areas.

‘We know that many people rely on public transport to get in and out of the city, and we seek to encourage more people out of their cars to improve our air quality, we need to ensure that public transport remains a convenient choice.

‘We want to hear what people think about the proposals and we’re inviting people to take part in a consultation.’

Earlier this week, (January 14), Birmingham council published a new transport plan outlining similar plans to ban the use of private cars in the city centre.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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