All change at new South Shields transport hub in bid to deter vandals and trespassers

An artist's impression of how the interchange will look.
An artist's impression of how the interchange will look.

Modifications are to be made to a new £21m transport hub in South Tyneside to overcome potential vandalism and trackside incursions.

Planning chiefs have granted permission for a raft of changes to the state-of-the-art interchange, which will be built in South Shields town centre.

The hub forms the centrepiece of South Tyneside Council’s £100m South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan for the town centre.

Last week it was announced that the contract had been awarded to North East firm Bowmerf and Kirkland.

Before that, Wakefield-based The Harris Partnership Ltd, which is designing the scheme, will make 13 changes to its original hub blueprint.

Chief among them is the exclusion of an external staircase, contained in their original plans, in an effort to deter trespassers from the Metro network.

Others include the shortening of the rail station’s platform canopy, reconfiguration of entrance facades and a roof, and a size reduction in glazing panels on the Metro concourse.

Its design team will also refine vehicle barriers and pedestrian railings in the bus bay area and remove roof lights to improve ease of access.

Glazing to the main entrance will also change to enhance the scale and proportion of the interchange, and a new entrance door is planned to help with maintenance and fire safety on the mezzanine level.

Council chiefs announced South Shields 365 in January 2013.

In November, plans for phase two of the masterplan – the transport interchange - were given the green light.

Planning permission for phase three, a proposed new retail and leisure offer, is given outline planning permission the following month.

Work on the transport interchange is planned to begin in the next few weeks.

Demolition of the existing Metro station will start in the autumn of 2019, with the new retail and leisure development also getting underway.