Take a first look inside South Shields' new £21million transport interchange
Take a look inside the new £21million South Shields transport interchange, which includes a modern bus station and relocated Metro station, as it prepares to open to the public on Sunday, August 4.
The new site, which is clad in 3,857 copper shingles, has been under construction since April 2018 and is expected to be used by 7.5 million passengers every year.
Its completion marks a major milestone in the £100million South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan being delivered by South Tyneside Council and partner Muse Developments.
Coun Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “We’re tremendously proud of this new facility, which has been delivered on schedule and is ready to welcome thousands of Great North Runners next Month.
“First impressions count and the new interchange really does provide a smart, high quality arrival point into the town.
“Phase one of South Shields 365, The Word, has resulted in an additional 450,000 visitors a year coming to the town centre so providing first class public transport facilities and improved connectivity is vital.”
Speaking to the Shields Gazette, Coun Malcolm was asked why money had been ploughed into South Shields, and not other stations. He responded, saying: “We have to have a planned approach. And what we’ve said is, we are obviously committed to transforming South Shields town centre and that’s what the public are telling us.
“They were concerned about the decline of South Shields town centre, and there’s a whole range of reasons why that’s happening, not least, peoples change in shopping habits. So what we need to do is create footfall.
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“By investing in infrastructure and delivering fantastic facilities such as this we are stimulating confidence in the private sector to follow suit.
“Now we’re refining our plans for Phase Three, which will provide an enhanced retail, leisure and housing offer to help create a vibrant town centre experience, day and night.”
Included in the redevelopment is the new bus terminal, removing most of the bus stops from the surrounding streets. Further developments will also include the demolition of the old Metro station and the creation of a new covered pedestrian walkway into the town centre.