Member Article

High Level Bridge Closes Completely To Pedestrians

One of the landmark bridges over the River Tyne will remain closed to pedestrians whilst essential repairs are carried out.

The £30million restoration of the High Level Bridge is scheduled for completion in summer 2008. The pedestrian walkway was originally left open during the repair of the Grade I listed structure, but was closed in December 2005 following repeated acts of vandalism which threatened pedestrian safety. Gateshead Council has now taken the decision to close the bridge completely to pedestrians for the duration of the repair to allow the work by Network Rail and its contractors to be carried out more quickly.

The High Level Bridge has always proved a popular route with pedestrians with a survey carried out in January this year revealing that approximately 700 people were using the bridge each day between 9.00am and 5.00pm. Councillor David Bollands, Cabinet member responsible for Transport, says: “This was a decision taken with some reluctance. “A large number of people use the High Level Bridge to make the short journey from Gateshead to Newcastle and back every day, so we felt it was important to cater for these people if we could. “However, the scale of the work needed to repair the bridge - which is a far more than originally thought - means that this simply is not possible. “We have therefore agreed to Network Rail’s request to completely close the bridge to allow restoration work to be carried out.

The positive side of this is that it should speed up the restoration process by around 12 months, meaning the bridge can re-open much earlier.“

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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