NECTAR eBulletin 118        June 2014
North East Combined Transport Activists’ Roundtable
Information Bulletin  Issue 118      June 2014
This Information Bulletin is produced around 1st of each month, with target deadline for submissions around 20th of previous month. We are experimenting with the MailChimp eNewsletter system (feedback please!) – but it is available as a Word file on request.
If you are receiving this e-Bulletin and don’t want to, or if you can think of a person or organisation who isn’t but should be please contact Nic Best
The NECTAR website is It carries downloadable copies of recent NECTAR submissions, this e-bulletin, news items and links to other useful sites. We’d appreciate comments, suggestions and material for inclusion.
If you have any information relating to any items in the eBulletin, or any other matter that needs to be shared, please send it in!
A NECTAR Group has been established on Linked-In – any reader using that network is welcome to join. For those not familiar with it, Linked-In is social-networking for professionals focussing on skills, networking, work CVs etc. See
The NECTAR email discussion list hosted by FoE has had to be wound up due to software upgrades. There is a clear need for such a list - for urgent communication and discussion - but an attempt to replace it with a Google Group has not been very successful. Could anyone with suggestions about how to set up a simple non-intrusive discussion list please contact Nic Best.
Diary Dates
Tues 3rd Jun – Fri 4th Jul: Intermittent Newcastle-Gateshead One Core Strategy Examination, Gateshead Civic Centre mostly Tues, Weds, Thurs 10am – 5pm. Transport session scheduled for Thurs 12th June
Weds 4th Jun: Tyne & Wear Freight Partnership 10:30am Gateshead Civic Centre.  Martin Murphy represents NECTAR at these meetings
Thurs 5th Jun: Newcastle Cycling Forum
Weds 11th Thurs 12th Jun: Urban Freight Conference, Univ Newcastle starting Weds pm and runs all day Thurs. Free, Watch this space for details.
Fri 13th Jun: York Festival of Ideas - the National Railway Museum is hosting a talk:  “Central planning in Railways: Lessons from History for Current Public Policy” Mark Casson argues that a lack of central planning in the nineteenth century led to a chaotic expansion of the UK's Railway System. Meanwhile, in the current privatised system, Clare Moriarty - Director General of Rail Executive at the Department for Transport - will look at harnessing a 'guiding mind' to bring an appropriate degree of order to future developments. More info and booking at
Fri 13th – Sun 15th Jun: Friends of the Earth's Basecamp, Castleton, Derbyshire for people who are interested on campaigning on roads to meet up and share ideas / info / etc. CfBT will be running two road campaigner workshops on the Saturday. Costs are £15 for a day ticket (incl food) or £35 for a camping ticket to attend all three days (or there are hostels and B&B options which cost more).  Book online at
Sat 14th Jun: Railfuture North East Branch Meeting 2pm. Newcastle Arts Centre at 67 Westgate Road NE1 1SG. Guest speaker: Paul Salveson, Founder of the Community Rail Movement. All welcome. Contact Tony Walker
Sat 14th Jun: Infra safaris (scouting Newcastle's Strategic Cycle Routes): SCR 4 Gosforth
Sun 15th – Mon 16th Jun: WATBike Two Day Cycle Ride “Roman Invasion & South Tyne Railway” This two day trip will cost £85 per person which includes all transport, guidance, support, accommodation, evening meal and breakfast at the Youth Hostel. You will only require your lunch, plus drinks money. Full payment is required 4 weeks before the date of trip. Contact Colin 01670 522999 Mob 07918 075187 Email:
Sat 21st Jun: NECTAR Exec, Brunswick Methodist Church, central Newcastle. All welcome. Contact Peter Walker
Sat 21st Jun: Living Street’s Supporters' Conference NCVO, King’s Cross, London. Bringing together campaigners and politicians to explore ways to lobby for change and put pedestrian issues firmly on the political agenda ahead of the General Election. Book your place now:
26th – 29th Jun: Coasts and Castles Cycle Ride (Advert): “The Coast and Castles cycling route, beginning in the beautiful Scottish capital Edinburgh and finishing in the historic Tynemouth, is a stunning cycling experience taking in miles of dramatic cliff tops and a wealth of historical intrigue. The coastline of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders is littered with ancient settlements, abbeys, watch towers and imposing castles dating back as far as the 13th century, all of which can be explored on this amazing cycling trip, adapted from the official 200 mile Sustrans Coast and Castles cycle route. (Route 1)” Cost £180.00 including three nights B&B, full van support, all baggage transfers, ‘Hillsnhangovers’ t-shirt, transfers to Edinburgh for you and your bike, on-route cycle guide Contact Tony Parker tel 0739 320 9396
Fr 4th – Sun 6th Jul: Yorkshire Festival of Cycling, Harewood House, Leeds coinciding with the ceremonial start of the Tour de France  Tickets £8 per day (children under 12 free) plus camping from £2 per person per night. See
Sat 12th Jul: Infra safaris (scouting Newcastle's Strategic Cycle Routes): SCR 1 Newburn
Sun 20th Mon 21st Jul: WATBike 2-day supported cycle ride “Abbeys & Castles” Melrose to Blyth with overnight at Wooler Youth Hostel Cost £75 payable four weeks in advance Contact Colin 01670 522999  Mob  07918 075187
Sat 2nd Aug: Sky Ride in Newcastle – watch website for more details If you want to create your own cycle rides and join with like-minded cyclists check out Ride Social & Breeze Rides which are led by women for women.
Sat 9th Aug: Infra safaris (scouting Newcastle's Strategic Cycle Routes): SCR 6 Benfield
Sat 9th Aug: 2014 St Cuthbert's Way Challenge Walk This 19.5 mile cross border challenge takes in the best section of St Cuthbert’s Way as you start walking in Scotland and finish in England. Register now
Weds 3rd Sept: Tyne & Wear Freight Partnership time, venue tbc.  Martin Murphy represents NECTAR at these meetings
Fri 5th Sept: Newcastle Cycling Forum
Weds 10th Sept: Hartlepool Transport Champions (Council-led community scrutiny network) “Road Network” 3:30pm-5pm Hartlepool Civic Centre
Sat 13th Sept: Infra safaris (scouting Newcastle's Strategic Cycle Routes): SCR 7 Walker
Sun 14th – Tues 16th Sept: 11th Annual Cycling & Society Symposium - co-organised by Northumbria University, Newcastle City Council and the Newcastle Cycling Campaign.
Weds 3rd Dec: Tyne & Wear Freight Partnership time, venue tbc.  Martin Murphy represents NECTAR at these meetings
Thurs 4th Dec ‘14: Newcastle Cycling Forum
Weds 14th Jan ‘15: Hartlepool Transport Champions (Council-led community scrutiny network) “Car Parking” 3:30pm-5pm Hartlepool Civic Centre
Weds 4th Mar: Tyne & Wear Freight Partnership time, venue tbc.  Martin Murphy represents NECTAR at these meetings
Weds 13th May: Hartlepool Transport Champions (Council-led community scrutiny network) “Rail Services – including connectivity between modes” 3:30pm-5pm Hartlepool Civic Centre
Regional News
1 NECTAR publishes an Annual Report in lieu of holding an AGM. The 2013-14 Report is now available on our website and should be read in conjunction with the consultation log, the quarterly reports and these eBulletins. Any questions should be submitted to the Chairman, Peter Walker, the Secretary, Martin Murphy or the Treasurer, Heather Evans. Anyone wishing to come along to Exec meetings or interested in taking on an officer role should contact Peter. NECTAR’s expenditure for the year was just under £1300 with no income, leaving just under £1000 in balances. The main cost is the production of this eBulletin. Suggestions for grant funding, sponsorship or donations would be welcome.
2 DfT has launched a consultation on how the Northern and TransPennine franchises can best make use of planned capacity improvements. The TransPennine and Northern franchises are both to be awarded by February 2016. Deadline for responses 18th August.
3 Blyth-based Phoenix Taxis which added Nissan Leaf cars to its fleet in 2012 is now, being used as a case study by DfT to inform policy on e-cars for the private sector.
4 The North East Combined Authority Transport North East Committee held its first meeting on 29th May amidst media silence. Their Tyne & Wear Subcommittee met later the same day. These committees are now likely to be party to the decision on Tyne & Wear bus contract arrangements. The decision in principle on QCS is expected in Sept ’14 with implementation from March ’15 if it goes ahead. Minutes of NECA Committees are to be found at: (and elsewhere, we suspect).
5 Viscount Ridley calls for fibre broadband for rural
6 The refurbished Tyne Pedestrian & Cyclist Tunnels between Howdon and Jarrow are now scheduled to re-open in June 2015. The free, scheduled shuttle bus and a Night Service for shift workers will continue to operate during the closure.

7 Iain Robson of Northumberland Coast AONB will be leading a walk along the Northumberland Coast Path every Wednesday between the 16th July and 20th August. A 136Kb PDF of details of the route sections is available. The walks are free apart from your bus fare, but booking is essential on 01670 622660 or by email to
8 The Tyne & Wear Freight Partnership discussed its programme of activities for the coming year at its meeting on 4th June. This includes:
  • FORS
  • Mapping
  • Safe Urban Driving
  • Freight on Rail
  • Promoting the Partnership
  • Maintaining the Partnership
  • Website Redesign
  • Rail Student Liaison
  • North East Freight Awards
  • Cycle Logistics
  • Scoping for Intelligent Parking Bays
Martin Murphy represents NECTAR on the Freight Partnership and its rail freight subgroup.
9 NECTAR is submitting evidence (deadline 13th June) to the HoC TransCom Inquiry “Investment In The Railway”. The final version of the submission drafted by Peter Walker will be available shortly.
10 Rural Services Network held a seminar on sustainable tourism at the Northumberland National Park Authority offices in Hexham on 3rd June. NECTAR would appreciate a copy of any papers from that seminar if anyone can point us in the right direction!
11 Newcastle Cycling Campaign and Sustrans made a joint presentation to Newcastle Cycling Forum (5th June) on the engineering and planning principles for a Cycle City promoted through the Space4Cycling campaign.
12 Simon Norton – mystery bus passenger extraordinary – recently spent some time before Easter in N Yorks and Tees Valley investigating some bus services at risk from N Yorks CC funding cuts – namely:
8A Whitby-Ravenscar
27 Whitby-Northallerton
32 Richmond-Tunstall circular
79 Richmond-Barnard Castle
97A Whitby-Whitby Abbey-Hawsker
His notes are available on request.
13 Sunderland-based Arriva, which is owned by Germany's Deutsche Bahn, is the only North East company on a table of the 50 largest foreign employers in the UK. So what about Nissan, Samsung, Hitachi, Tata?
14 James Grant, chairman of the Darlington Business Club and former sales and revenue manager of the Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel, has joined Peel Airports as partnership and communications executive for Durham Tees Valley Airport.
NECTAR consultation responses currently in preparation
Subject By Deadline Lead
Rail Franchises DfT   Malcolm Chainey
SubRegional Economic Strategy NE LEP awaited  
National & International News
15 The Government has published the Infrastructure Bill, which includes proposals to turn the Highways Agency into a Strategic Highways Company. CPRE is asking five key questions about the reforms:
  • Is a new law really needed?
  • Will it lead to better value for money across the transport system?
  • Will the interests of communities and the natural environment be protected?
  • Will regulation drive better environmental and economic performance for the road network?
  • Will it actually reduce congestion door-to-door?
16 Go-Ahead and French firm Keolis have together secured the Thameslink Southern and Great Northern franchise for the next seven years. Their joint venture ‘Govia’ will begin to operate services from September this year.
17 The Post Office has acquired a fleet of 40 new vehicles – kitted out as a mobile post office - to serve 250 rural locations.  They are replacing the current fleet of converted LDV vans, which have travelled around three million miles altogether over the past six years. Stocksfield Post Office in Northumberland was the first mobile branch in the UK to put their new vehicle into gear.
18 A correspondent suggests that when national concessionary fares were first introduced, the impression was given that the fares of visitors should be paid by their home authorities rather than by the areas they are visiting – which would seem fairer to sparsely populated tourist destinations. Of course, to implement this would require buses to have equipment to detect which authority had issued a card – which is now possible. Anyone like to start a campaign?
19 Average UK petrol prices went back above 130p a litre at the end of April and continue to hover around that level, according to the AA May Fuel Price Report, though in urban areas fuel prices are at year-lows of just under 126p.
20 Driverless cars: Google has said its driverless cars will be on sale in 2017. Volvo has just launched a pilot scheme involving five prototypes in Gothenburg while in the UK, the government has announced plans ‘to make Britain a global centre for self-driving cars’. DfT is to explore what legal and regulatory changes would be necessary to develop and test the vehicles.
21 What congestion looks like without cars: (Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Groningen)
22 A city for people not cars? Curitiba, Brazil?
23 Where unsold cars go to die:
24 Balfour Beatty have been awarded a £180 million contract for the maintenance and upgrade of Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 and 4.This is the first of four framework contracts amounting to an overall £1.5 billion investment package.
If you have any comments or suggestions about this bulletin please contact
Contacts quoted for reports or further information:
Nic Best 01670 517915
Martin Murphy 01665 608150
Peter Walker 01642 566396
Tony Walker 0191 386 4534
NECTAR, the North East Combined Transport Activists Roundtable, is an open, voluntary, umbrella body, established to provide a forum in which the many organisations with an interest in sustainable transport in all its forms can develop a co-ordinated view on contemporary transport issues. NECTAR provides opportunity for the exchange of news, studies and information.
The NECTAR area of interest covers the North East of England from the North Sea coast to the Pennines and from Scotland to North Yorkshire.  NECTAR provides a voice for dialogue with government, transport providers, transport users and similar bodies concerned with transport and related policy and practice locally, nationally and internationally.
Membership of NECTAR is open to organisations which:
•         support the use of sustainable transport and sustainable changes to the transport infrastructure
•         broadly support integrated transport and land use policies which reduce the need to travel
•         promote better provision for public transport, walking and cycling
•         seek to minimise any negative environmental or social impacts of transport, whilst maximising accessibility, safety, good health and quality of life for all
•         NECTAR is one of a national network of Transport Activists’ Roundtables working together with the Campaign for Better Transport, railfuture and similar national bodies that share the core aim to promote sustainable transport.
NECTAR executive committee members currently include Campaign to Protect Rural England (North East), CTC - the national cycling charity, Durham Coastliners, Friends of the Earth (North of England and Newcastle/Gateshead), Living Streets Tyneside Area, railfuture northeast, Saltburn Line Rail Users Group, Tyne & Wear Older People’s Transport Forum, Tyne & Wear Public Transport Users Group and the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership, but all are welcome to participate.

Our mailing address is:
57 Olympia Gardens, Morpeth, United Kingdom
Morpeth, NE61 1JQ
United Kingdom

Add us to your address book