Cost of Northumberland Line bridge triples to £30m due to inflation

160621 northumberland line pic Tyne Tees
The cost of a road bridge on the Northumberland Line has risen to more than £30m. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The cost of a road bridge being built on a new rail line has almost tripled due to inflation.

The anticipated cost of the bridge at Newsham, on the new Northumberland line, now stands at £30.6m - an increase in excess of £19 million since the original cost estimate in August 2021.

Northumberland County Council's cabinet has agreed a new funding package for the planned passenger line to plug a £4.08 million gap in the finances.

It comes after the Department for Transport declined to provide funding to close the existing crossing and divert the A1061 across a new bridge over the railway, meaning the council would need to meet the cost of the infrastructure.

The North of Tyne Combined Authority has agreed, in principle, to provide £5 million to help finance the road bridge, while a further £7.5 million is to be released from the Northumberland Line Reserves to be recouped via land value captures - where funding is recovered from the increase in value of private land generated by public infrastructure investment.

The council agreed to fund the remaining £4.08 million, from its contract price inflation budget and the strategic regeneration reserve.

Council leader Glen Sanderson said: “We need to press the button on a number of parts of this scheme to reach the opening. We need to just get this decision into the system today.

“I have spoken to the relevant scrutiny chairman and he has agreed this is urgent. We know all about the Northumberland Line – this is the most fantastic project, one that has been talked about for a long time but nothing much has happened until now."

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