£1.15million for new cycle path to connect International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) to Tyne Pedestrian and Cycle Tunnel
More than £1million has been set aside for a new cycle path linking South Tyneside and a major new employment site expected to create up to 7,000 jobs.
Bosses from South Tyneside Council (STC) confirmed they have secured £1.15million for the scheme to connect the Tyne Pedestrian and Cycle Tunnel with the planned International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).
Work has already started on the 150-hectare manufacturing site, north of the existing Nissan car plant at Washington, a joint venture between STC and Sunderland City Council.
And health chiefs for South Tyneside are hoping that, as well as providing workers an alternative means of getting to the proposed factories, the new route will also help improve the health of the borough.
The cash for the cycle path has been provided through a £10million grant to improve bus and cycling infrastructure through the government’s Transforming Cities Fund.
And according to STC it is ‘expected’ the project could be completed by March, at the end of the 2019/20 financial year.
This would likely be after the reopening of the Tyne Pedestrian and Cycle Tunnel – which has been shut for renovations since 2013, with the project now more than four years behind schedule and at least £8.5m over budget.
Managers had previously said they expect the river crossing to reopen ‘late May/early June 2019’, but this has been revised once again, with managers now saying June, although they have been unable to provide an exact date.
Improving the viability of peddle power is cited as a priority in STC’s 2018/19 Public Health Annual Report.
According to a statement in the paper from director of public health Tom Wolf: “Our work on the wider determinants of health is arguably not as advanced as our systems working, our approaches and services; however we recognise the opportunity to change this.
“Joint working with the Economic Regeneration Group has already led to improvements in proposed cycling infrastructure to the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), and we are working together to embed ‘health’ as part of the Local Plan.”
James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service