Pedestrian Tunnel reopening date could be delayed again

The Tyne Pedestrian Crossing
The Tyne Pedestrian Crossing

Work to reopen the Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels could face further delays, a report has revealed.

The North East Combined Authority (NECA) will on Thursday hear updates on the refurbishment work taking place on the historic route from Jarrow to North Tyneside.

Work on the grade II-listed tunnel has been hit by a number of delays since a decision to renovate it was made a decade ago - with costs now stretching to £15.65m.

The tunnel had been due to re-open in 2015 after it was closed in May 2013 for restoration work.

However, delays due to the original contractor entering administration and the discovery of asbestos have seen the date of completion pushed back a number of times.

Although works are progressing on site, the reopening date is likely to be pushed back by a few months.

Project bosses previously admitted the collapse of their contractors, Vaughan Engineer Ltd, could put the Autumn 2018 schedule under pressure.

A new NECA report indicates delays are possible stating: “At this time it is anticipated the completion of the works will slip to the end of the year.”

Despite this, the report adds that “good progress” is being made on the project.

It reads: “The refurbishment works on the TPCT are continuing with civil, mechanical and electrical engineering contractors working on site.

“Good progress is being made throughout the tunnels and the installation of the inclined glass elevator is ongoing with the installation of the rails, motors and control panels and elevator trolley and floor being completed”.

NECA’s Transport North East sub-committee will discuss the report on Thursday at North Tyneside Council’s offices.

The meeting starts at 2pm.

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service