Tyne & Wear

Tyne pedestrian and cycle tunnels reopen after six years

Reopened Tyne cycle tunnel Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The tunnels have been closed to the public since May 2013

A historic crossing under the River Tyne has reopened to the public after more than six years.

The Tyne pedestrian and cycle tunnels shut in 2013 for what was due to be a two-year restoration project.

But after a series of delays and problems, including the discovery of asbestos, costs rose from £7m to £16m.

The tunnels have now reopened, but will be closed at night because new glass lifts brought in from Italy have not yet been fully installed.

The Grade II-listed structure, which opened in 1951 at a cost of £833,000, links Howdon on North Tyneside to Jarrow on South Tyneside.

Image caption More than 150 workers have been involved in the project over the last six years

Since its closure, cyclists and pedestrians have been bussed across the Tyne via the existing vehicle tunnels.

Stuart Turnbull, project manager for Newcastle City Council, said: "It's a relief to have the tunnels reopen after so many false dawns.

"We thank the public for their patience during what has been a challenging time for everyone involved.

"All the works, apart from the completion of the installation of the new inclined lifts which will replace two of the old escalators, are finished.

"Rather than keep the public waiting until the lifts are operational, which we expect to be in mid to late September, we decided to open as early as possible given the long delay on the project and the high levels of anticipation amongst the public."

Image caption The tunnels will only be open to the public during the day until September

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