£3.6million wasted on axed Sunderland bridge

The axed 'iconic' bridge

The axed 'iconic' bridge

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A TOTAL of £3.6million was wasted on the original designs for the new Wear bridge.

The cash – which includes £3.4million worth of design costs and £200,000 project management fees – cannot be transferred to the new, simpler design, Sunderland City Council has confirmed.

The grants were from the Department of Transport local transport plan yearly allocation, with specific contributions from the now-defunct regional development agency ONE NorthEast.

However, another £7.5milllion is transferable to the new cable-stayed design being developed and soon to be subject to a new procurement process.

Sunderland Tory leader Councillor Robert Oliver said people should move on from the disappointment over the initial plans. He said: “The Conservative group fully supports what will be a very important project for Sunderland.

“It is a very large amount of money that has been lost on the iconic part of the design, which is very unfortunate, and I can understand why people would be concerned about it.

“But it has happened, and now the best thing to do is to move on with the project and ensure that it is completed to safeguard the rest of the spent so far.”

He added that while the first designs were the “icing on the cake”, the most important factor will be the new link from the A19 to the port.