Concerned Residents Voice Their Opinions - In Overwhelming Survey Results:
Following Gateshead Council's failure to engage or consult with local residents on the sweeping changes to the roads around their homes, community campaigners in Ochre Yards have joined together to provide people with the voice their Council neglected to.
Residents initially understood the changes to be temporary and as a response to Coronavirus social distancing requirements, however as daily chaos ensued and the works progressed they appeared to be anything but "temporary" and they now feel the changes are a knee jerk response to Gateshead Council's failure to adequately address Gateshead's longstanding clean air issues.
The startling results of the residents survey provide a sobering picture of just how badly people feel Gateshead Council has failed them and they demand that their views and concerns are listened to and acted upon in a meaningful and transparent consultation. One resident wrote:
"I work in a hospital lab which carries out COVID testing. The amount of work we do has greatly increased, requiring the need for emergency night shifts. On top of doing my part to end the pandemic, I now have to take more of my personal time away from work to plan alternative routes and get up earlier to avoid traffic on the estate that the council have caused. This is causing me to feel even more anxious and exhausted than I already was. My route to work should not be an additional burden during these extremely tough times."
Since Saturday morning 184 residents of Ochre Yards, Curzon Place and Worsdell House have provided the following responses to the below questions:
- The recent changes made by Gateshead Council to the roads in central Gateshead close to where I live have negatively impacted my daily life.
74% Strongly Agreed
If you have to commute to work, has your commute become more difficult since the roads around your home have been altered?
73% answered YES
Are you able to walk or cycle more?
87% answered NO
The road changes near my home have encouraged me to walk more often
31% Disagreed & 48% Strongly Disagreed
- The road changes near my home have encouraged me to cycle more often.
20% Disagreed & 65% Strongly Disagreed
Since the changes to the roads around my home, when I need to use my car my journey times have increased.
86% Strongly Agreed
If your car journey time has increased since the road changes near your home, how much longer have they increased by?
34% said by 10-20 mins & 33% said by 20-30 mins
Since the road changes around my home, when I need to use my car my journey distance has increased.
11% Agreed & 78% Strongly Agreed
If your car journey distance has increased since the road changes near your home, how much has it increased by?
65% answered 1-5 miles & 15% answered 5-10 miles
Do you believe the road changes near your home are in response to the Covid pandemic?
87% answered NO
Do you believe the changes to the roads near your home are as a result of Gateshead Council's failure to address Gateshead's clean air issue in your area?
68% answered YES
Do you feel that the road changes to the area near your home will move pollution to other areas of Gateshead?
83% answered YES
Do you feel that the road changes near your home discriminate against residents with personal mobility issues?
82% answered YES
Have the changes to the roads around your home prevented you from doing your weekly shopping in Gateshead town centre?
75% answered YES
Do you feel Gateshead Council has failed to enter into a meaningful and transparent consultation with residents before implementing the road changes near your home?
92% answered YES
Do you believe the changes to the roads near your home present a risk to life by impeding access for emergency services such as the Police, Ambulance or Fire Service?
89% answered YES
Are you worried that the road changes near to your home could negatively impact the value of your home?
63% answered YES with 30% of the remaining living in rented accommodation
What actions would you like Gateshead Council to take to resolve the current situation?
69% answered " Reinstate original road layout & engage with residents in a transparent and meaningful consultation"
Liberal Democrat Campaigner Dawn Welsh says: "As someone who works professionally in the decarbonistaion of heat, power and transport infrastructure, I am naturally supportive of well-designed and innovative plans to meet our country's sustainability and clean air goals. I have seen and worked on some fantastic initiatives from local authorities across the UK but I cannot support schemes which are pushed through without any consultation whatsoever with residents or any due consideration for how the measures may affect people's daily lives during this already difficult time. Along with residents of the Ochre Yards area, I call on Gateshead Council to enter into a meaningful and transparent consultation with the people most affected by these measures."