Consultation for an ambitious plan to improve transport across the North East has now started.
The North East Transport Plan, which has been published by the North East Joint Transport Committee (NEJTC), includes a programme of almost 300 schemes across the region which would ‘reshape the transport network’ in the region over the next 15 years.
The plan includes an initial £6.1bn of projects covering highway infrastructure, cycling and walking facilities and public transport. It is the region’s first Transport Plan covering Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland, Northumberland and Durham.
Among the proposals are the creation of a new railway station in East Gateshead, a park-and-ride scheme close to the Team Valley, numerous highways and cycling improvements, a new bridge linking Blaydon and Newburn, and extensions to the Metro.
Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee and the Leader of Gateshead Council, says: “Strong transport links are absolutely essential to the long-term economic success of our region and we want to deliver a game-changing network for the people of the North East.
“Independent reports have shown that levels of transport investment per head in the North East are up to seven times lower than in London. This Transport Plan explains how we will address this imbalance and, if we have the same level of investment, how we will be able to transform the lives of people here in the North East.
“We can’t wait to discuss this incredibly ambitious plan with the region’s two million people. We’re urging as many people as possible to get involved with the public consultation – talk to us, share your thoughts on our plans and help us to deliver real change across the network.”
Cllr Gannon added: “The draft Transport Plan marks the first time the whole of the North East has come together to agree a long-term strategy for transport. We’ve agreed to a consistent set of policies which will help us achieve our aim of moving to a green, healthy, dynamic and thriving North East.”
The draft North East Transport Plan includes many road, rail and public transport projects which will improve connectivity. It also details numerous sustainable travel schemes which aim to improve both the physical and mental health of people across the region.