An overwhelming majority of Newcastle City Shoppers say the Council should stop delaying important city centre road works and get on and finish the work.

80% of Newcastle Shoppers and City Centre users surveyed over the weekend say the City Council should not use the excuse of purdah to further delay important road improvement works. Shoppers and City Centre users were surveyed on their thoughts on the planned road improvements.

Following the consultation between October and December 2015, Newcastle City Council took a decision early in 2016 which had planned to make a number of improvements to the local road network (City Centre North) in Autumn 2016. These were delayed until the early part of this year. The improvements will provide significant benefits for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users while ensuring delivery vehicles and cars can access shops and services. However, these plans have been repeatedly deferred and put on hold for several months and have now suffered further delays, the Council now claims this is due to Purdah.

The agreed improvements are to include making access into the Eldon Garden Shopping Centre easier for shoppers by reinstating the right-hand turn from Percy Street in to the car park which was removed by the Council in 2002. Added to this is the rebranding of The Rotunda and Eldon Garden Shopping Centre Car Parks in Percy Street as ‘The City Centre Shopping Car Parks’ with pricing that makes it cheaper and easier for shoppers.

The weekend’s survey also revealed that 52% of respondents currently do not use the car park due to local road layout making it difficult to access – which confirmed the Councils data in 2015 and 2016 which showed the Eldon Garden Shopping Centre car park is the most underused car park in the city.

While 71% of respondents who do use this car park stated that this improvement is vital for the City Centre and will significantly make access to car parking easier.

In addition, 84% confirmed that they supported plans to improve Eldon Garden Shopping Centre. Proposed improvements to Eldon Garden will boost local businesses and city centre trade.

Howard Dawson, Managing Director of Peer Group, said:

“As owners of Eldon Garden Shopping Centre, we believe the City Council should make good on their promise to improve the City Centre’s local road networks. We have been campaigning for over 10 years to get the road layout reinstated as it has had a hugely negative impact on our shopping centre and the businesses within it.  They should stop making excuses and get on with this much-wanted scheme.”

John Thompson, Managing Director of North East Art Collective added:

“As a business owner who trades out of Eldon Garden Shopping Centre, my business supports over 150 local artists. The improvements are urgently needed as more and more customers are deserting the City Centre due to poor access. Come on City Council, deliver on your promises.”

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