Many of your supporters have registered their desire for an end to the C2C route in Tynemouth. Unfortunately they have not heard why many of us think there are much much better options... and why cyclists and locals are objecting to the proposed 'cycle-hub' development.
Many of us locally want an end to the route and have been campaigning for such for a long time. We are not 'anti-cyclist' and want to create world class facilities that promote all the NCN routes and cycling more generally. It is unfortunate that many of your readers do not see what great options exist for a 'hub' or even a whole cycle friendly community at North Shields.
The North Shields Clifford's Fort area has a range of advantages over the proposed 'watch house' private development. There are multiple businesses, cafes, restaurants and a community run heritage centre, ample free parking, appropriate and safe cycling areas, opportunities for further development by new businesses. The site already links to some wonderful cyling infrasctructure - the soon to be opened cycling and pedestrian tunnel under the Tyne, the cycle friendly ferry service crossing the river, the access to port facilities for cyclists wishing to come from further afield, the links to NCN routes 10 and the North Sea Route. The site would not cause local conflict or affect the workings of the important heritage lifeguarding station. All it is missing is a C2C sign.
A few features:
1. The Low Lights Heritage Centre . Unlike the propsed hub which has been submitted under the planning use class of 'restuaruant and shop' they currently have A3 - or lesiure - use and they already have secured cycle parking. The facility is community run and has plenty of scope for development. There is ample outdoor seating. The Clifford's fort area has recently been developed and no cars can enter the fort area. It would be a great place for a cycle festival. Important for your readers to note that the propsed 'hub' has been submitted under the use class for a restaurant and shop, not a leisure facility.
2. The 'end' of the route is often portrayed as 'Tynemouth' on the basis of a history of its representation as such, but it doesnt' have to be. Indeed there are multiple endings and starts for the C2C route. There is good reason to argue the North Sea begins at North Sheilds and the Lloyds Hailing Station. If you consider Whitehaven, it is not at the peir and indeed you cannot get a clear view of the sea from the C2C sign, but it is a good site because you can 'dip' your wheel there and there are multiple businesses in the vicinity that benefit. The North Shields quay beach has the option for wheel deeping, the proposed hub does not and is on a particular congested track on a steep hill that is dangerous to novice cyclists and pedestrians. There is a local group campaigning for a ramp to enable better access to the beach and they have the support of the Port of Tyne Authority.
3. The fish quay has great outdoor art to make for excellent photo opportunities. In fact, the only thing missing is a nice "C2C" feature. Add to this the 3 nearby public houses and several restaurants, and large open congregational areas for that big finish.
4. There is a free car park and public toilets at the beach. The car park has free parking for 62 standard bays and 10 disabled bays. It can accomodate trailers for bikes. The prposed hub would increase pressure on the Tynemouth car park. This car park costs to use, it is congested and the narrow road to it is often difficult to negotiate for cyclists, pedestrians and importantly, it is needed for rescue services for the volunteer life brigade.
There are many more arguments that could be cited and I would encourage your readers to have a look at some of them as they are well represented on the North Tyneside planning portal. But in short, we are not anti-cyclist at all, quite the opposite. Everything that this proposed development has to offer, has already been catered for in far better, bigger, and more practical way in the Clifford's Fort and Fish Quay sands area at North Shields. We want a big bang for the C2C route. We don't think its a private development with a 120 restaurant on a steep hill.