Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel relaunch date to be revealed 'shortly' after further set backs

The team behind the restoration of the Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel say they are working towards confirming its relaunch date after a series of setbacks.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 4:45 pm

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The Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel has been undergoing a restoration project, which has been hit by delays. Photo by Press Association.
The Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel has been undergoing a restoration project, which has been hit by delays. Photo by Press Association.

The historic Grade II-listed Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels had been due to reopen in July 2019 but has been hit with fresh delays.

Work on the crossing began in May 2013 was originally supposed to be completed n 2015.

But the project has faced a catalogue of issues, with the original budget of £6.9million expected to hit a final cost of £15.65 million. Issues around asbestos and collapsed contractors among those to cause hold ups for the revamp.

Tyne Pedestrian Crossing's entrance Jarrow.

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But with July almost over, it looks like August will be the earliest chance for people on foot and bike to use the crossing once again.

It was built at a cost of £833,000 and first opened in 1951, taking people between Jarrow and Howdon.

A spokesperson for the North East Joint Transport Committee, which is overseeing the project, said: “We are working very hard to reopen the tunnels as soon as possible and will have an update shortly.

A photo taken in March showing work being carried out on the crossing. Photo by Press Association.

“This has been a major project using specialist contractors to restore the old dilapidated tunnels to their former glory and we’re looking forward to it being brought back into public use.

“We would like to thank everyone for their patience during this extended project and ask people to bear with us as it won’t be long before this historic link for communities crossing the Tyne is fully open.”

Last month, the team said new surfacing to the approaches to both entrances and landscaping had been completed, with only the road markings to the laid down.

The motors of the original Waygood-Otis escalators have been uncovered, after they were wrapped up during the work, with the 1950s motors to be on permanent display as a reminder of the tunnel’s engineering heritage.

Work as it was being carried out on the Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel escalators earlier this year. Photo by Press Association.

During the closure, a free shuttle bus for pedestrians and cyclists is in operation between 6am and 8pm daily, with night service for registered workers with no other means of crossing the Tyne outside those hours.