'Crippling' congestion expected in Tyne Bridge works

The Tyne Bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction from early 2024. Credit: PA

Drivers have been warned to expect "crippling" congestion during works to repair the Tyne Bridge.

The leader of Gateshead Council shared the message ahead of works starting and said motorists must consider alternative routes.

The long-awaited works are expected to last three years with capacity reduced to a single lane in each direction for part of that time. Vehicle numbers are expected to drop by 50%.

Preliminary works are set to begin in September before larger-scale repairs, made possible by a Government investment of £35.3m, will begin early next year.

Councillor Martin Gannon, leader of Gateshead Council, suggested the congestion from the works would be "crippling", adding: “We have worked hard with Newcastle City Council in securing the funding and working through the programme that is going to be required to bring the bridge back up to scratch, it is absolutely essential.

“It’s not just that it’s an iconic symbol of Tyneside, it is a vital transport link for the region. It is entirely right and we have no option but to carry out these works.”

The Tyne Bridge has fallen into a state of disrepair. Credit: PA

Over the coming months, Gateshead Council will aim to raise awareness among motorists to try and ease congestion during the works.

“What we can’t have is a situation where on the first day of the work people turn up and say ‘I didn’t know that was happening’," Cllr Gannon said. "We need to be absolutely clear with people now that there will be crippling congestion over the next three years, and therefore people need to find alternative routes.

“We want the message out really strongly to the people of the North East of England that yes we are proud to do this, the bridge will be brought up to its glory to celebrate its 100 anniversary.

"But the inevitable consequence of having to do something that is unavoidable is we are going to have reduced capacity on the bridge for three years and it is going to cause huge congestion and people need to start making alternative provisions.”

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