Campaigners drive to transform Jesmond shopping street

CAMPAIGNERS want to transform a busy shopping street to boost trade in the area.

CAMPAIGNERS want to transform a busy shopping street to boost trade in the area.

The Acorn Road Improvement group, which includes councillors, residents and businesses, wants to reduce traffic in the Jesmond street by making it one-way and expanding the pavement.

The proposals, which don’t yet have any official backing, have come after a survey revealed that while the majority of trade on Acorn Road’s shops come from pedestrians, there is significant through traffic along the busy street.

The improvement group wants to widen one pavement, remove parking from that side of the street and make the road one-way.

Tony Waterston, chair of the improvement group said: “The proposed changes would make Acorn Road a much more pleasant place to visit and spend time in, and would reduce the overall traffic flow whilst meeting the strongly expressed views of the local businesses not to prohibit car access.

“We anticipate that changing the street in this way would be good for the local economy and for all users.”

The group’s plans are based on a survey which found that more than 70% of street users come on foot, cycle or public transport, 43% live within half a mile and 83% within three miles.

The survey also found that 79% of traffic enters and leaves Acorn Road within a 10-minute period, confirming locals’ impression that it gets a significant amount of traffic going along it but not stopping.

Acorn Road has a number of small shops along its route, as well as a 24-hour Tesco. It is also one of the main routes to the busy Osborne Road.

The plans have been outlined at a meeting held as part of the Jesmond Community Festival.

Mr Waterston said: “There were mixed views as with all these things. People in general want the area to be improved and we agreed to look at things that can be done quite easily in the short term like traffic calming, improving the pavements and improving the corners.

“In the meantime we’ll investigate the bigger plan. Acorn Road wasn’t always a shopping street, it was originally a footpath between the main road and Jesmond village, and that’s why it’s so narrow.”

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