Tyne Bridge: List of restrictions and closures now in place affecting Newcastle and Gateshead

Capacity will be halved by up to 70,000 vehicles a day during the restoration works. Credit: NCJ Media

Lane restrictions are now in place on the Tyne Bridge as a major restoration programme gets underway in earnest.

Closures from Tuesday 2 April will see capacity halved by up to 70,000 vehicles a day on one of the routes between Newcastle and Gateshead.

The current programme of works will see lane restrictions in place for a minimum of two years, with further temporary lane closures and overnight closures scheduled for the remaining two years of the refurbishment.

Lane restrictions have been started during the school Easter holidays when traffic is lighter which should initially minimise the impact on the travelling public but delays and congestion are expected when traffic returns to normal levels.

This could see delays of up to 40 minutes at peak travel times.

Schedule of restrictions and closures:

2 April: Off-peak lane restrictions from 9.30am until 3.30pm.

3 April: Off-peak lane restrictions from 9.30am until 3.30pm plus overnight closure from 8pm until 6am.

4 April onwards: One lane in each direction.

What is the impact and what is the advice to avoid the traffic?

With the bridge reduced to one lane in each direction to protect the workforce and the public during the main bridge deck restoration, heavy congestion is expected on approaches to the Tyne Bridge on both Newcastle and Gateshead sides.

The Quayside is also expected to be busy as people seek to use the Swing Bridge.

The public is strongly advised to use public transport where possible when travelling to and from the city centre.

As part of the restrictions on the bridge, one footway will be available at all times.

Walking and cycling routes around the bridge are being improved where possible to encourage more people to walk and cycle.

Newcastle City Council is providing additional safe and secure cycle storage in its city centre.

Several improvements have been made to the road network to prioritise buses to ease congestion throughout the four-year project.

Scaffolding in place on the Tyne Bridge. Credit: LDRS

People should also consider Park and Ride sites which can reduce congestion and help people get into the centres of Newcastle and Gateshead quicker.

People travelling across the region are advised to avoid driving through the centre of Newcastle and Gateshead, stay on the major trunk roads and use other cross-river crossings such as the A1, A19, Tyne Tunnel and Scotswood Bridge.

The Redheugh Bridge will still be available for cars, but this is also expected to be heavily congested and is also subject to weather-related closures, particularly for high-sided vehicles in high winds.

People who need to drive into the city are advised to consider car sharing, travelling at off-peak times when the roads are quieter, as well as leaving more time for their journey and to expect delays.

Large employers are also asked to consider staggering start and finish times to avoid peak travel times and encourage working from home.

What is being done to the bridge?

Esh Construction will deliver the hugely complex and challenging project on behalf of the councils.

Over 900 steelwork repairs have been identified on the Grade II-listed structure, as well as grit blasting and re-painting, concrete repairs, drainage improvements, stonework and masonry repairs, bridge deck waterproofing and resurfacing, parapet protection and bridge joint replacement.

The four-year programme is expected to be complete in Summer 2028, ahead of the bridge’s centenary in October 2028.

The Tyne Bridge restoration is funded by the UK Government, as well as monies from both Newcastle City Council and Gateshead Council.

The Government signed off £35.2 million on 2 February 2024 towards the cost of two projects: the restoration of the Tyne Bridge and the Central Motorway upgrade.

The two councils still await confirmation of the remaining £6 million which was announced as part of the Network North plan in October.

Have you heard our new podcast Talking Politics? Every week Tom, Robert and Anushka dig into the biggest issues dominating the political agenda…