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Stage 1 Geography and Planning Bike Trip

Stage 1 Geography and Planning Bike Trip

11 November 2021

Bike Trip to Tynemouth

Dr Abby Schoneboom reflects on the GAP Stage 1 bike trip to Tynemouth:

"On a sunny October morning, a crew of bold GAP Stage 1 students converged at The Cycle Hub on Newcastle's Quayside. Our goal: to ride to Tynemouth, sampling our city's rather patchy yet functional cycle infrastructure. We passed through North Tyneside's post-industrial landscape along converted railway lines and under the Willington Dene viaduct, reflecting on how the landscape has been re-purposed for cyclists and pedestrians. Reflecting on the importance of signage (which is not so great along parts of the route) in making cycle routes usable, we managed not to get lost. We also observed the poor condition of the route surface, thinking about the deterioration of infrastructure under austerity and the need to plan for upkeep as well as development of cycle paths. Also interesting here was the risk of broken glass bottles on the trail -- an indicator of wider social breakdown.

Passing through Roman ruins at Segedunum and emerging at the Tynemouth Priory, we experienced the glorious heritage that is on our doorstep. However, given our hearty appetite after the ride, perhaps more thrilling were the chips and mushy peas at our destination. On the return journey, we took a different route along waggonways and around the Rising Sun Country Park, visiting the controversial East Benton Rise development and observing first-hand how farmers' fields are being converted into new housing.  We arrived back in Newcastle a little sore but having had a stimulating day out. Where will these amazing GAP students go to next?"

Student Comments

From Lara:

"I found the trip to be interesting in discovering the outer areas of Newcastle and learning about the declining industrial sector of the economy. It was also thought provoking looking at new developments and the potential for other developments around the quayside." 


From Nell:

"Physically travelling through spaces with other students, and imagining together how they could be better used was really engaging. Could roundabouts have traffic lights for pedestrians and cyclists, like they do in Capetown? How can we regenerate an area for the original locals rather than excluding them?"

Physically travelling through spaces with other students, and imagining together how they could be better used was really engaging

Nell, GAP Stage 1 Student