Over £24 million funding boost set to transform sustainable travel

The North East Joint Transport Committee is set to discuss the approval of over £24 million to deliver major improvements to regional sustainable transport, including the creation of a new interchange in North Shields, bus priority measures and improvements to walking and cycling routes in North Tyneside and Gateshead.

The schemes are part of the North East’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) programme, one of the largest in the country at £198 million.

Funding for three schemes will be discussed by the Joint Transport Committee on 15 March and are set for approval including:

  • North Shields Transport Interchange (£19,125,000 of TCF funds)

The scheme will see the creation of a brand-new transport interchange in North Tyneside, reconfiguring highway links and relocating bus stands in North Shields to one central ‘hub’ to greatly improve access to public transport for local people.

This scheme will also include a new active travel link between the town centre and the popular Fish Quay area, cycling improvements between the town centre and Coast Road (A1058) and improvements along the A193 which will benefit cyclists between the Coast and North Shields.

  • Hills Street and Gateshead Quays sustainable access (£1,961,621 of TCF funds)

The scheme forms part of the regeneration of the Gateshead Quays and Baltic Quarter areas of Gateshead and includes permanent pedestrian and cycle routes including improvements to pedestrian crossings to improve both safety and air quality. It is hoped the schemes will deliver an increase in active travel locally alongside reduced carbon emissions.

  • A188/A189 bus priority corridor improvements (£3,345,000 of TCF funds)

The scheme will introduce a new southbound bus lane between the A188 Goathland Avenue junction in Longbenton and the entrance to Four Lane Ends Interchange.

This scheme will include enhancements to local walking and cycling routes including new segregated cycle links between Four Lane Ends and the A188 and A191 cycle routes.

In addition, new cycle storage facilities will be provided at Four Lane Ends to boost cycle Park & Ride journeys by Metro and/or bus services. It is hoped this scheme will improve journey times of all buses along this key route. Pedestrian and cycling improvements are expected to increase the number of multi-modal journeys in the area, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.

Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair, North East Joint Transport Committee and Leader of Gateshead Council, said: “I am delighted that these schemes are progressing as part of the North East’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) Programme. Our ambitious programme centres on delivering transformational change for local people and I am confident these improvements will greatly improve access to sustainable transport links, hopefully encouraging more and more people to travel by public transport or active travel when they can.

“The North East is fully committed to providing safe, affordable and appealing sustainable transport options to help us tackle congestion, drive down carbon emissions and improve our air quality. The approval of funds will kick start the delivery of these exciting schemes – watch this space for more exciting things to come from our regional TCF programme.”

Cllr Carl Johnson, Deputy Mayor of North Tyneside, said: “We welcome the news that we have been awarded more than £22m to help transform North Tyneside’s transport services. 

“Our investments in the proposed transport hub and town square and embankment walkway are absolutely vital to improving connectivity and helping create a vibrant and sustainable shopping environment, which will help attract new investment in the town.

“We are committed to transforming North Shields into somewhere people want to live, work and visit to help sustain the town for years to come. We’re now starting to see these ambitions coming to fruition with work getting underway on the ground. These are really exciting times for North Shields and there’s every reason to be optimistic for the future.

“We have been sharing our plans with local communities and incorporating their feedback into the designs and will continue to listen to what people tell us as the projects evolve.” 

Speaking on developments in Gateshead, Cllr Gannon, adds: “The delivery of improved cycling and walking links is a key part of the ongoing regeneration of the Gateshead Quays and Baltic Quarter area. I’m pleased these developments will help to further improve safety and access to our walking and cycling infrastructure.”  

In addition to the £24 million schemes being approved by JTC in March, a further three regional schemes totalling over £8 million are set to be approved later this spring. 

The Transforming Cities Fund Programme provides £198 million of capital investment in public transport, sustainable transport and public places for the North East. It is an ambitious programme of investment which has been designed to transform and improve the local economy, environment and society.

The North East Transforming Cities Fund Programme is one of the largest in the country and provides investment in strategic bus corridors, walking and cycling routes around towns and city centres, improvements to rail station gateways, Park & Ride and local Metro services through the delivery of the Metro Flow project.

For more information on the region’s Transport Cities Fund Programme, visit www.transportnortheast.gov.uk

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