Collected over the course of a single week, the petition was signed by 128 residents – one more than responded the council’s consultation – and almost three times the number that explicitly supported the scheme.
Jason Smith, who has played a leading role in the campaign since it started, told councillors: “Although the scheme appears to have fallen victim to Government cuts, the failure of the council to recognise the lack of support for the scheme is of great concern to local people. In challenging times, this money can be better spent protecting public services.”
Presenting the petition to the council was the last act in a campaign that some claimed had no chance of success. At a local residents association meeting the following day, Jason announced that the campaign would now be halted unless the scheme is resurrected at some point in the future.
Jason said: “I would like to put on record my thanks to the many people who supported the campaign in some way. Many of us have worked hard to expose the impact this scheme would have on residential roads and Stamfordham Road.
“It is likely that a new transport campaign group will take forward the fight to bring the Metro to the Outer West of Newcastle and they will campaign for improvements to the West Road and Stamfordham Road. We will continue to be vigilant.”
The full text of the petition is:
Stop Claiming Support for the West Road Scheme
In 2009, Newcastle City Council undertook a consultation on the controversial West Road Scheme. The council distributed 50,000 leaflets selling the purported benefits of the scheme and 127 responses were received, only 35 of which supported it. Although the scheme appears to have fallen victim to Government cuts, the failure of the council to recognise the lack of support for the scheme is of great concern to local people.
We the undersigned want to make it clear that we oppose the West Road Scheme which we believe will have a serious impact on the West Road, Stamfordham Road and create rat-runs through residential areas. We are calling on Newcastle City Council to accept that there is no public support for the West Road scheme.
The number of signatures on this petition has been limited as we simply wish to demonstrate the lack of support for the scheme. In challenging times, this money can be better spent protecting public services.