The Department of Planning and Environment have published responses to the EIS.

Of the 168 submissions from the public, 112 were objecting to the closure of the Jesmond off-road shared path!

That’s two thirds of the responses, and more than six times as many objections as made on any other issue.

So are the Roads and Maritime Services going to ignore the overwhelming consensus of public opinion?

I read through all the submissions to the EIS and categorised them by primary concern. Here is my analysis.

Main Issue of Concern Responses % of total
Objecting to closure of Jesmond Path 112 67%
Objecting to operating hours of the Martins Creek Quarry
(if Daracon win contract to supply gravel)
19 11%
Objecting to lack of access from McCaffrey Drive onto the bypass 12 7%
Hospital interchange concerns 4 2%
Noise concerns 4 2%
Other 18 10%
Total responses 168 100%

The issue

The Roads and Maritime Services of NSW are building the final section of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass from Rankin Park to Jesmond. At the northern interchange, the current plans are to remove the shared cycle/foot path between Jesmond Park and Jesmond and replace it with with not one, not two but three signal crossings, over eight lanes of traffic!

Current State.

Current State.

Future State? RMS plans for three sets of lights across eight lanes of traffic.

Future State? RMS plans for three sets of lights across eight lanes of traffic.

The overwhelming desire of the community is that the existing path (which has been used since 1949 when the tramline was removed) be retained as a continuous off road route via an underpass, or combination of underpass and overhead bridges. The Roads and Maritime Services have received many submissions over the past few years relating to their plans but they have not made a serious attempt to solve the problem of retaining the pathThere are plenty of alternative possibilities for retaining the shared path, but the RMS seem to be not interested in listening and are intent on destroying this community facility.

The final review process is underway. Public submissions to the Department of Planning and Environment in response to the EIS closed on 16th December 2016.

Call to action

  1. Express your displeasure at the current plans by making an online submission, or you can kiss your path goodbye. Too late now.
  2. Attend the last drop-in information session to be held Thursday 1 December 2016 between 3pm-6pm at Silver Ridge Community Cottage, 13 Iranda Grove, Wallsend. Too late now.
  3. Contact your local State member of parliament.
  4. Contact your local City of Newcastle councillor.
  5. Contact the mainstream media:
    1. Ring your local radio station.
    2. Write a letter to the local newspaper.
    3. Add comments to the websites or Facebook pages of the media.
  6. Add a comment to any of the pages on this site.
  7. Talk to your friends, acquaintances, work colleagues, to let them know about this issue and this site.
  8. Use social media, blogs, websites to link to this site. It would be great if this site appears near the top of the search results list when people Google the bypass project.
  9. Suggest other action that could be taken.
  10. Suggest to me ways in which this website could be improved, or send me content to add to the site. (See “About this site” for contact details.)

 

Media coverage

The Newcastle Herald published a story on Tuesday 13th December 2016. We have some photos and a report on the protest rally held on Sunday morning 11th December 2016.

19 thoughts on “

    • Sorry to dampen your celebration, but that news article is referring to the north/south shared path bridge over Newcastle Rd (near Steel St), and saying that the design and construction of this bridge is going to progress ahead of the bypass construction. There is still no news on what will happen to the east/west shared path behind Jesmond Park, other than the report on “additional investigations is due mid-year.”

  1. The farce continues. The traffic in the John Hunter precinct is getting out of control, taking up to an hour to exit the hospital. The half interchange proposed won’t address that. I’ve also spoken to fellow pedestrians who use the jesmond cycle path who are angry about cutting the path and forcing us to go through 3 sets if traffic lights. They won’t be prepared to wait and will simply cross when its safe, disobeying don’t walk lights.

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