Whitley Bay’s Traffic-Free Network

Whitley Bay has a large network of traffic-free streets. Like those elsewhere, they’re more desirable places to live, where people don’t have to worry about traffic noise, and children can play free of the fear of failing their Green Cross Code. You see hopscotch grids chalked on the paths, and people chatting with their neighbours. House prices are correspondingly higher.

You could also view these as the de-facto traffic free cycle network for the people who aren’t brave enough to use the roads. Wife uses them when she rides into town, and I like them when I’m riding with Daughter – we can bimble along and chat without having to worry about White Van Man revving his engine behind us.

Yes indeed, those foreign chappies from the other side of the North Sea could certainly learn a thing or two from us:

Oh. Hold on a minute…

Yep. Pretty much every single one of them has a “No Cycling” sign. I had hoped that these had been put up in response to an over-zealous ward councillor many years ago, but that the paperwork legalising them hadn’t been done.

But no. They did it properly. As recently as 2010, the council made a Traffic Movements Consolidation Order to cross every “I” and dot every “T”.

Still – at least this puts all such streets in a nice neat list.

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Posted in Bike Culture
6 comments on “Whitley Bay’s Traffic-Free Network
  1. Koen says:

    I think it would be right to keep cyclists off such nice livable streets- because there should be more appropriate cycling streets nearby! It’s awful that one who wants to ride on a nice calm street has to resort to such a narrow pavement, instead of a network of one-way streets that are not fit for rat-running, and have good provisions for cyclists. We have streets like this in the Netherlands, too, and they’re never meant for cyclists. No-one objects to that of course, because there are other facilities for cyclists nearby.

  2. KarlOnSea says:

    The problem is that the network of other streets are not one-way, always provide through-routes for cars and have no provision for cyclists. So Wife finds most of them really quite unpleasant.

  3. Stan says:

    I love UK cycling culture (or the slight lack of). Our engineers are currently hard at work creating new “Cyclists Dismount” signs as we speak. Keep up the good work UK authorities

  4. Koen says:

    Yes Karl, of course I understand that your wife and kids want to cycle there. I would too, if conditions were so bad elsewhere. What I meant was it’s a pity that cyclists are pushed to areas that would be nice for walking too. They both deserve a better arangement.

  5. KarlOnSea says:

    “They both deserve a better arrangement.”


  6. Ezra says:

    Definitely look forward to the day where there are options like this, designed for cyclists from the start. But, it’s good to have this de-facto situation I’d say, especially for children in the mean time.

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