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Time to act: Chronicle supports efforts to fix Tyne Bridge in time for its 100th anniversary UK News

The Chronicle supports efforts to restore the iconic Tyne Bridge in time for its centenary after years of delay and neglect.

Newcastle City Council has submitted an offer of £ 18million to the government’s leveling fund after requests for further funding failed to materialize.

Tat offer was supported by politicians across the region, and today Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah will take the debate to Parliament to call on the government to release funds.

Read more:Council launches funding offer for repairs to Tyne Bridge

Ms Onwurah says the condition of the bridge is one of the most common complaints she receives from voters, and called on ministers to show the same commitment to the much-loved structure as they would to buildings in London .

Attempts to repair the bridge date back several years, with councils on both sides of the river saying huge cuts to their budgets mean funding must come from central government.

The bridge celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2028, and with any repair program that could take several years to plan and then implement, the campaign for government funding has been stepped up by activists across the region.

Chronicle’s Director of Content and Audience, Helen Dalby, said: “The condition of Tyne Bridge is terrible to see. You can’t help but think that if it had been 300 miles further south it would have been fixed years ago.

“Anyone who has lived in Newcastle knows how important the Tyne Bridge is. It is the thing you are looking for when you are away and seeing it tells you that you are home.

“This is why its neglect cannot go on any longer and funding must be found to repair and restore it in time for its centenary. We are proud to stand behind the leaders of our city and to support this attempt to restore this Newcastle icon to its former glory.

The Tyne Bridge has been a symbol for Newcastle and the greater Tyneside region since it opened in 1928.

Over one million Great North Runners have passed through the Grade II listed structure during the annual half marathon over the past 40 years and it has also served as the backdrop for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Great Exhibition du Nord, the Olympic Torch Relay in 2012 and the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

The bridge was last repainted in 2000, but the paint life was 18 years and it has been in increasingly degraded condition for several years.

Newcastle's iconic Tyne Bridge in desperate need of a new paint job
Newcastle’s iconic Tyne Bridge in desperate need of a new paint job

Newcastle's iconic Tyne Bridge in desperate need of a new paint job
Newcastle’s iconic Tyne Bridge in desperate need of a new paint job

Newcastle City Council has requested upgrade funding, after a previous request for money from the Transport Department was unanswered.

The bid was supported by six local councils, the Mayor of North of Tyne, Jamie Driscoll, Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness and 11 MPs from Tyneside, Wearside and Northumberland. The councils say Tyne Bridge is “a symbol to represent not only Newcastle but the North East across the world” but the £ 18.45million repair costs are beyond their resources.

Planned repairs – which would include structural issues, as well as repainting the bridge – are expected to take up to three years and would also require substantial planning, given the disruption associated with closing a key crossing over the Tyne.

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In a debate in Westminster Hall today, Ms Onwurah will say that funding for the repair is crucial to show that the region is not being forgotten by the government.

She will say: “I am regularly contacted by voters and visitors to our city are shocked by the state in which the bridge is located.

“A bridge of this size and importance requires regular maintenance. The Tyne Bridge was last fully painted in 2000, and the paint system is designed to last 18-20 years – a new paint job is overdue, along with any repairs needed for the road deck, towers, masonry, metal framing and installation of a new drainage system.

“Last week MPs from across the North East, along with local government leaders, the Mayor of North of Tyne and the Police and Crime Commissioner wrote to the Communities Secretary asking for the $ 18.5 million. of pounds sterling needed to repaint the leveling fund bridge.

“We want to make sure it looks its best on its 100th anniversary as a symbol of our region’s proud engineering past and hopefully a prosperous future.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-22 23:00:00

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