A MUCH-respected former councillor has been honoured for his role in the creation of the £260m second Tyne Tunnel.
Tom Hanson, who died last October, was a driving force behind the tunnel scheme for many years.
As vice-chairman of Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA) and chairman of the Tyne Tunnels Working Group, Mr Hanson helped see the new Tyne crossing scheme through from its inception to its opening in November 2011, before the tunnel was officially launched by the Queen last summer.
When the tunnel was still in its early stages, opponents of the scheme referred to the project as “Tommy’s Tunnel” and created a caricature, based on the Jarrow Bede ward councillor, because of Mr Hanson’s close association with the scheme.
Now, a plaque has been unveiled at the Jarrow entrance of the tunnel, in honour of Mr Hanson, who helped make the massive transport scheme a reality.
Various civic dignitaries attended the official unveiling of the plaque, including Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn and South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck.
Mr Hanson’s family also attended the unveiling of the plaque, which was commissioned by TWITA.
Coun Hanson’s wife, Phyllis, said: “Tom was dedicated to his work with the New Tyne Crossing and South Tyneside Council and we are delighted that his work over the years has been recognised.”
Coun David Wood, chairman of TWITA, said: “He was proud to be recognised – even if it was by his opponents – as a champion of the scheme.”