Tory MP candidate pledges to block Coast Road bus lane - despite council claim scheme is not feasible

Traffic on the Coast Road approaching the Corner House junction in Heaton
-Credit: (Image: Craig Connor/ChronicleLive)

A Tory candidate running for the Tynemouth constituency has pledged to block a Coast Road bus lane - despite council assurances that a lane is not even feasible.

Coun Lewis Bartoli, standing as the Conservative candidate for Tynemouth, is pledging to halt any moves to install a bus lane on the Coast Road which connects Newcastle and North Tyneside. This comes despite Newcastle City Council stating "categorically" that there will be no bus lane put on the major commuting route.

The lane claim emerged in February after the road was named in a study listing bus priority schemes. Newcastle City Council denied at the time it was being pursued, although later it was confirmed at a scrutiny meeting they would look into it to possibly improve bus journey times during the Tyne Bridge renovations.

The Coast Road bus lane is one of several schemes that could be installed as part of a £163.5m bus improvement plan, but Newcastle City Council has stated it is under no obligation to do so. The local authority also went on to refute Lib Dem councillor Greg Stone's claims on social media that the council had "confirmed" to try and introduce it in 2025.

A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: "We would reiterate our position in February and categorically say that no bus lane will be installed on that route. The development work has enabled us to confirm that traffic modelling shows that the bus priority lane from the Corner House to Sandyford Road is not a feasible option.”

Despite consistent denials, Tynemouth candidate Lewis Bartoli has pledged in campaign literature he intends to block such plans. This is despite bus lanes being the remit of local authorities and the proposed lane not even featuring on the North Tyneside Council or Tynemouth constituency side of the Coast Road.

Coun Bartoli said: "The plans were part of Newcastle City Council report, and made the front page of the Chronicle, which we took with us to North Tyneside's full council in March. Now it seems the plans have been scrapped which is great, but we need to continue to work to ensure disruption to North Tyneside commuters and Labour's war on the motorist is resisted.

"While it is true that this is an issue for Newcastle City Council, MPs campaign on a number of issues, the Prime Minister has been clear that anti-motorist measures should have public support through a referendum. I agree with him entirely. "

The other Tynemouth candidates are:

John Christopher Appleby - Liberal Democrat

Sir Alan Campbell - Labour

Rosie Elliott - Reform UK

Christopher Greener - Independent

Kelly Jane Oliver Dougall - Party of Women

Mustaque Rahman - Independent

Chloe-Louise Reilly - Green Party

Adam Thewlis - Heritage Party