Work to begin on £3million walking and cycling improvements around South Shields and Jarrow Metro stations
Work is set to begin on the first stage of a £3million programme to improve walking and cycling links at four Metro stations in South Tyneside.
Bosses say they are taking advantage of the Metro Flow major line closure and carrying out work at the same time to minimise disruption.
However, work will be ongoing when the line reopens and run until spring.
The next stage will see work begin in the areas around Bede, Tyne Dock, and Simonside Metro stations later this year.
This will include improved lighting at Tyne Dock and pedestrian and cycle routes to encourage sustainable travel.
Pedestrian and cycle routes will be created at Dean Road, Reed Street, Hospital link, Middlefields Industrial Estate, Olive Street to Biddick Hall, Hudson Street and Shaftesbury Avenue to Arches.
Funded by the region’s Transforming Cities Fund, the project aims to improve connections between walking and cycling routes by creating a safer and more secure environment for those who use public transport.
Bosses say this, in turn, should encourage more people to use public transport which will improve air quality.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Transport and Neighbourhoods, said: “Sustainable travel is key if the Borough is to achieve its carbon neutral goals.
“By carrying out these works, we hope to be able to improve the environments at and between Metro stations, which will hopefully encourage more people to cycle or walk to access the Metro.
“We will do all we can to keep any disruption to a minimum while these works are carried out and apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.”
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “These exciting public realm works will help to bring a fresh feel to four of our stations in South Tyneside. The investment is welcome because Metro plays is part of everyday life in our local communities.
“Improved walking and cycling routes will encourage people to use more sustainable modes of travel and link into Metro services for getting to places of work and leisure.
“These works also include improved lighting on the approaches to some of our stations which is something our customers value. Safety and security are our top priorities.”
The overall project is due to be completed by April 2023