TRANSPORT Secretary Justine Greening has been urged to swiftly sign off on the new Wear bridge so work can begin.
The final stage of the bid for the bridge has been completed and the inspector’s report of the public inquiry is now sitting on Ms Greening’s desk.
Councillor Robert Oliver, leader of Sunderland Conservatives, has called for the Transport Secretary to give the iconic bridge the green light.
In a letter to Ms Greening, Coun Oliver said the bridge was essential to unlocking economic growth in the region as well as attracting further investment on Wearside.
He said: “As leader of the Conservative Group on Sunderland City Council, I am writing to express my full support for the new wear crossing and to urge you to make a swift decision on the inspector’s report.
“In Sunderland we have reached common ground on the opportunities that the crossing will provide, including private sector investment, jobs and growth.
“The promise of cross-party support for the crossing sends a strong signal to the private sector around Sunderland’s vision, ambition and ability to deliver.
“We have a clear strategy and the right elements in place to deliver the New Wear Crossing project.
“Manufacturing is the bed rock of the Sunderland economy and the ability to efficiently transport our manufacturing outputs by improving connectivity from the city to the rest of the UK, not only supports growth and increases jobs, it also helps attract investment to the city and the region.
“The new crossing will also improve connectivity between the A19, our riverside regeneration sites, the city centre and the Port of Sunderland – and will also relieve congestion on existing crossings and the highway network.”
Construction work could begin in the next 12 months.