Tyne pedestrian tunnel to shut for £4.9m one year revamp

Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel. Photo: Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority The tunnel's ageing mechanical and electrical systems will be replaced

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The Tyne pedestrian and cyclist tunnel is to close for a year from 20 May for a £4.9m refurbishment programme.

All four of its original escalators are "beyond economic repair" and two will be replaced by inclined lifts, which are described as "diagonal lifts".

During the repairs a free shuttle bus will run between the entrances at Howden and Jarrow from 06:00 to 20:00 BST daily.

A service will also be provided for night shift workers who pre-register.

Paul Fenwick, from the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority, said: "All four original escalators are now out of service and beyond economic repair so this refurbishment will give the tunnels a new lease of life.

"Inclined lifts are rare in Britain and we expect them to become something of an attraction in themselves once the tunnels reopen."

An inclined lift can carry up to 27 people as well as accommodate bicycles, tandems wheelchairs, pushchairs and smaller motorised disabled scooters.

The Grade II-listed tunnel, which opened in 1951, is used for about 20,000 journeys each month.

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