An example of how urban transport strategies are being used to reduce traffic congestion in one urban area.
Sustainability means living a life which meets your own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Newcastle-Upon Tyne is a large city in the North of England which has an unsustainable past. This city of over 300 thousand people was a centre for heavy industry, ship building, coal mining and armaments works – all activities which can pose environmental problems. However, Modern Newcastle is restyling itself as a science city and a city whose economy is based upon information services and quaternary industries. A core foundation of this is environmental sustainability, and Newcastle offers a good case study of sustainable urban living. It was ranked as the UKs most sustainable city in 2009 (source).
Newcastle has a comprehensive public transport network, including a huge bus network and the well-known and used Tyne and Wear Metro. These are both more sustainable alternatives to the car. This network also offers park and ride facilities, such as at Four Lane Ends metro station.
Newcastle upon Tyne has a really developed INTEGRATED transport system. Integrated transport means that all of the different forms of transport can link to one another. Its transport network includes both private and public services. Travellers made 36.4m journeys on the Metro electric light rail system service in 2017/18 in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Nexus and Stagecoach manage much of Newcastle upon Tyne’s public transport, including the iconic Metro system, and Buses.
Newcastle upon Tyne Commuters can travel on most forms of transport and they are integrated, there are bike stands at metro stations, park and ride facilities, and hub metro stations where busses link to the metro system.
To limit car journeys, the Council have introduced pedestrianised and restricted zones for cars within the city centre, and is considering a controversial Newcastle upon Tyne congestion charge to enter with a car. The city did have a bicycle rental scheme, operated by Mobike, but this has ceased to operate.
The Tyne and Wear Metro
The Tyne and Wear Metro is a light rail system serving Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Sunderland. It opened in 1980; has a network of nearly 78 kilometres and is the second largest of the three rapid transit metro systems in the UK (after the London Underground & the Glasgow Subway). It is operated by Deutsche Bahn (a German rail company) on behalf of Nexus.
Map of the Tyne and Wear Metro
The Metro is usually described as Britain's first modern light rail system. It can be considered a hybrid system, displaying elements of light rail, heavy underground metro, and longer-distance, higher speed suburban and interurban railway systems.
TIMELINE: Plans for the Metro were first drawn up in 1973 by the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority (now known as 'Nexus'). The plans involved converting the existing, but run-down 26 mile (42 km) long network of local rail services into an electrified rapid transit system, with eight miles (13 km) of new infrastructure linking them up. The system was intended to form part of an integrated transport network, with buses acting as feeders to purpose built-interchanges. Construction work began in 1974, and the original system was opened in stages from 1980 to 1984. Some extensions to the original system have since been built. A short extension to Newcastle Airport was constructed in 1991. In 2002 an 11 mile (18.5 km) extension was opened to Sunderland.
Integration: - When the Metro opened it was claimed to be the hub of the UK's first integrated public transport system. Metro was intended to cover trunk journeys, while buses were reoriented toward shorter local trips, integrated with the Metro schedule, to bring passengers to and from Metro stations, using unified ticketing. Much was made of Metro's interchange stations such as Four Lane Ends and Regent Centre, which combined a large parking facility with a bus and Metro station.
In addition to this, Newcastle has a cycle network, some parts of which are off road, including through Jesmond Dene and the Wagon Way behind St Mary’s school. In addition there are cycle routes running alongside the river including along the Quayside. Newcastle has been slowly developing an integrated cycling network and according to the organisation Sustrans;
There are substantial benefits to Newcastle from people cycling
• Almost 9 million trips made by bike in Newcastle in the past year
• Saving the NHS £585,000 annually, equivalent to the average salary of 25 nurses
• Bicycles take up to 6,957 cars off Newcastle’s roads each day, equal to a 21-mile tailback
• £24 million total annual benefit to Newcastle from people riding bikes for transport and leisure
There is huge potential for more people to ride bikes...
• 7% of Newcastle residents usually cycle to and from work
• 31% of people live within 125m of a cycle route
• 52% would like to start riding a bike, or could ride their bike more
• 40% think cycling safety is good
The council also has a range of electric cars and vehicles, including those used in Jesmond Dene and Heaton Park, and the Quaylink bus service (electric busses) that connects Newcastle and Gateshead Quays.