Regional transport projects in the North East are needed to improve road links as well as cut carbon emissions and make travel safer.
While some of these projects have been planned for years, for the first time they come together in a single North East Transport Plan for the first time.
The proposal suggests improvements will boost the economy, with estimates suggesting better links between Ashington, Blyth and Newcastle alone could be worth an extra £50 million, according to a report in the Sunderland Echo.
A list of ‘shovel ready’ schemes to get spending off the ground and prepare the way for grander projects including: an overhaul of public transport ticketing, partly to reflect changing habits post-COVID, ‘Bus, Cycles & Electric Vehicles only’ lanes across Wearside and a new bus station and multi storey car park in Bishop Auckland.
This Tuesday (November 17th), the North East Joint Transport Committee, made up of the leaders of the region’s seven local authorities, is expected to approve the latest draft of the document be sent out for public consultation later this month.
Other projects up for discussion include; the reopening of the Northumberland Line to rail services Refurbishing the Airport Metro station and improving park and ride facilities at Jarrow and East Boldon stations, as well as a footbridge between the Stadium of Light and the former Vaux Brewery site, in Sunderland.
Looking further forward proposals could also include; the reopening of the Leamside Line, a new Metro station at Mill Lane, in Hebburn, a new Shields Ferry enter service and the replacement of the south bank landing, In South Shields new bus stations are on the cards and for Alnwick and Blyth, in Northumberland-the dualling of the A66 and a Barnard Castle Bypass.
Beyond this it is hoped new Metro stations could be slated to open at Ouseburn and Boldon, with the network extended to include Silverlink, in North Tyneside, and a ‘Leamside and Wearside Loop’ extending coverage in Sunderland and South Tyneside.