London party

‘It would be settled now if it was in London’: councilors bid for Tyne Bridge restoration money

Newcastle and Gateshead councils have said they are now in desperate need of public funds to renovate the bridge in time for its centenary in 2028.

Now, the future of the famous crossing depends on a separate £ 40million bid that has been lodged with the Department for Transport for more than two years, to restore both the bridge and the entire central highway.

The absence of major repairs for two full decades has left the Northeast icon in a state of disrepair, while there have also been warnings that further delays in the work could soon mean it no it is safer for 70,000 vehicles to cross it each. daytime.

At a meeting of the joint bridge committee of the Newcastle and Gateshead councils on Monday (December 13), councilors were told that an indication of whether the government would pay for the restoration was now expected “shortly after” the submission cost figures in the spring.

Newcastle union adviser John-Paul Stephenson, chairman of the committee, said: “We are all familiar with its appalling condition, the rust, the peeling paint. This is not what we want to see for such an iconic structure in our region.

“It is not just about transport infrastructure, it is a major symbol that contributes to our cultural and tourist offer.

Alastair Swan, senior engineer for Newcastle City Council, said he had “no immediate concerns” about the structural integrity of the bridge and officials “are constantly looking for available funding opportunities”.

Gateshead Lib Dem Cllr Ian Patterson asked if the bridge could be used as an advertising spot to help raise funds.

Councilor Stephen Fairlie, who represents Callerton and Throckley, said: “Big cultural events are good, but sponsoring them by Greggs or something like that… it’s a step too far.

The Tyne Bridge is adorned with a sign for the Great North Run each year and has also been used to promote major international events in Newcastle, such as the Olympics and the Rugby World Cup.