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February 9, 2018: Tyne Pedestrian Tunnel


Some photos of the Tyne Pedestrian Tunnel prior to its refurbishment.  The tunnel originally opened in 1951.

Work began on the historic grade-II listed tunnel, which connects Howdon in North Tyneside to Jarrow in South Tyneside, in May 2013.  But the discovery of asbestos delayed the planned reopening at the end of 2015 to the summer of 2017.  The tunnels are now expected to re-open in Spring 2018, meaning the frustration has spanned five years.  

Pedestrian tunnel 2

The tunnels are being handed back to their owner, the North East Combined Authority, in stages in a bid to get work completed as soon as possible.  Alastair Swan, principal engineer for the tunnels, said: “This is a positive step forward in restoring the tunnels as a vital piece of cross-Tyne infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.  “Despite the difficulties we have encountered, we remain committed to the refurbishment of the tunnels.”

Pedestrian tunnel 3

Its £6.9m refurbishment includes the replacement of two of the original four escalators with inclined lifts and the replacement of the tunnel’s ageing mechanical and electrical systems.  The two remaining escalators, which are original and of historical significance, will be opened up to public view and illuminated with feature lighting.  New lighting, CCTV, control and communications systems will also be installed, in addition to carrying out repairs to the tunnel structure itself and to the historic finishes within the tunnel such as the tiling and panelling.

Pedestrian tunnel 4

During the closure, a free shuttle bus service runs between 6am and 8pm, seven days a week for both pedestrians and cyclists.


For a list of Ian Cook's photography and TravelGumbo contributions, please click on this link.


Images (4)
  • Pedestrian tunnel 1
  • Pedestrian tunnel 2
  • Pedestrian tunnel 3
  • Pedestrian tunnel 4

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