'I got it wrong. Since the changes it's become more vibrant': life in an LTN
(The Guardian, 16 Nov 2020) Three low-traffic neighbourhood schemes across the UK highlight the difficulties and benefits of curbing cars to encourage cycling and walking.
Acorn Road, Newcastle upon Tyne
When Newcastle city council planned to reduce motorist access to Acorn Road in the leafy suburb of Jesmond back in 2014, hardware store owner Steve Robson helped to raise a petition against the £350,000 scheme, organised meetings to oppose the plans and told a local newspaper that the proposed changes would be “devastating”.
The changes went ahead. And to date, Acorn Road has not been devastated. Far from it. Robson’s hardware shop – trading from the same small premises since 1912 – is doing so well that last month it expanded into an adjacent shop, doubling its floor space.
“I’ve been happy with the changes made to the street,” says Robson.
The campaign against the changes was ferocious. “We do not mind change to bring the area into the 21st century,” Robson said at the time, “but we don’t want to lose any of our parking spaces.”