Work on the £4 million refurbishment of the grade II-listed Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels which pass under the River Tyne between Howdon and Jarrow, is on course.
Capita’s North Tyneside Partnership is leading the design team for the Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA) led project, and is also providing conservation architecture and planning services.
The tunnels were opened in 1951 and at their peak around 20,000 journeys were being made through them every day. Today, only around 20,000 journeys are made through the tunnels every month.
The biggest change will be the replacement of two of the four original escalators which, at a length of 197 feet, remain the longest of their type in Europe. The other two original escalators, which have been out of use for many years, will be left in situ, opened up to public view and feature lit.
Additionally, the tunnels will benefit from repairs to their structure, flooring and enhancement of heritage features such as tiling and paneling. There will also be improved security for users, through new CCTV and better lighting, plus new control and communications systems for its operators.
Gaining listed building consent has involved liaising with key stakeholders such as English Heritage and the local planning authorities on both sides of the river. By providing additional conservation drawings and a comprehensive Heritage Asset Statement that explained the need for the project, the Capita team minimised the risk of any delays to the consent process. The team is also ensuring that consent conditions are being met during the work by continuing to provide advice and liaising with relevant statutory bodies.
Other elements of Capita’s involvement have included:
About the tunnels (www.tynepedestrianandcyclisttunnels.co.uk):
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