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South Shields premier political blog

Pedestrian Tyne Tunnel

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applauseHurrah! this deserves a round of applause.

I am delighted to read about this, I’m a bit of a fan of the old pedestrian tunnel under the River Tyne at Jarrow having walked through or cycled through many times to Howden. It has also provided me with some very interesting photo opportunities over recent months and much as though some of us love the work created by young artists engaged by the Customs House in South Shields, eventually when the new crossing project is completed their work will either have to be rehoused or destroyed I fear.

The construction of the second vehicular tunnel under the Tyne was always likely to be a massive civil engineering undertaking which creates disruption, mess, and noise for the people of Jarrow but it has given rise to an excellent opportunity to market the benefits of the original pedestrian tunnel with it’s renowned wooden escalators (which I believe are still the longest of their kind in the world). It would be an achievement to increase the daily amount of users, either on foot or bicycle, and to massively improve the environment around its entrance with a recreated riverside park, which had always proved a little disappointing in the past.

So one hopes that the consultation period will help foster a number of fresh ideas to promote the health benefits of walking and cycling, as well as creating new links between the old and the new and highlighting the prominent historical importance of Jarrow as the seat of Christian learning in the UK. We have a chance to promote South Tyneside and it’s ability to attract World Heritage status for St. Paul’s church and Bede’s monastery, let us hope that we grasp it with both hands.

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Written by curly

August 25, 2009 at 10:34 am

One Response

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  1. I used the pedestrian tunnel quite a lot in the 1960s. I was then working with Durham County Council and based in Jarrow whilst my fiancée worked with Northumberland County Council in Wallsend. About twice a week she would walk through the tunnel and we would have lunch in the Jarrow Co-op for soup, main course and coffee all for 4/3d. (What could you get for 22p these days?) One lunchtime the waitress asked us if we both worked together and when I explained our arrangement she obliged by singing ‘The Waters of Tyne’ for us.

    For old times’ sake we walked through the tunnel about eighteen months ago. I think we were the only people using it and the whole are seemed much quieter and the escalators were, like us, creaking a little with age.


    August 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm

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