Funding sign-off delayed for new Shields Ferry landing

The final sign-off on funding to secure the future of the Shields Ferry has been delayed. Credit: Nexus

The final sign-off on funding to secure the future of the Shields Ferry has been delayed.

It was anticipated that members of the North East Joint Transport Committee would give the green light to the release of £4.58 million for a new ferry landing in North Shields at a meeting on Tuesday (16 April).

However, due to a number of absences among councillors, the meeting was “inquorate” – meaning the decision could not be taken.

Because the meeting was the committee’s last before the new North East Combined Authority is formed next month, an additional meeting of the Joint Transport Committee’s Tyne and Wear Sub Committee will be convened to make the decision. A date for this has not yet been set.

There was an opportunity for members to debate the issue and ask questions to offer guidance to officers, but nobody chose to speak.

The cash was left over from the major Tyne and Wear Metro Flow project, which saw single track sections of the Metro line to South Shields dualled in 2022.

The existing jetty in North Shields is due to fall into an unusable state as early as next year, leading to questions about the future of the ferry crossing.

Plans have been in the works for some years to relocate the terminal to a new location next to the North Shields Fish Quay.

However, the project has suffered several setbacks and the delays have seen costs spiral to almost £15 million due to inflation.

While there is still a considerable amount of that £15 million still to be found, there is confidence this will come later this year once the new North East Mayor is elected next month.

Regional transport chiefs have asked for the Government to “accelerate” £8.1 million of the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) that will be given to the incoming mayor, which is widely expected to be approved.

Elsewhere, Nexus and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership are also committing money to the new ferry landing, with Nexus planning to pay £1.3 million towards the scheme and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership putting in almost £300,000.

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