Bridges On The Tyne


Over the years there have been several proposals for bridges and tunnels on the Tyne which came to nothing. Perhaps the grandest suggestion, which cropped up time and again, was for a bridge or tunnel at the mouth of the river. Notwithstanding the obvious need to avoid interfering with navigbation there has also been the high cost of building a structure at what is the river's widest part. There have also been proposals for further bridges between Newcastle and Gateshead to relieve traffic congestion, but the only completely new road crossing in recent years has been the Blaydon Bridge. Perhaps one day a road and rail bridge to link the Metro between North and South Shields will be erected, but in the early twenty-first century there is no sign of any such proposal.

There have also been proposals to restore the long forgotten ferry services which once carried passengers between various points up and down the river with landings on both sides. Such services exist elsewhere in Europe, but could only succeed here if the stops were close to where people wanted to go and were both fast and reliable. Meanwhile, pleasure cruises do exist, running anywhere from between the two Shields to Newcastle or sometimes to Ryton Willows further west.

Meanwhile, the only recent proposal which has been turned into a definite plan has been for the additional Tyne Road Tunnel which will be built in the next few years and which will double capacity in a tunnel already carrying way over its intended maximum traffic.

 Proposed Bridges and Tunnels

Railway bridges at St Anthony's, Newcastle - 1836, 1848, 1893, 1918.
Road bridges at St Anthony's, Newcastle - 1920, 1925, 1992.
Road bridge just east of the Tyne Bridge - 1960s.
Road bridges at North/South Shields - 1887, 1893, 1901, 1930 (two proposals, one linking Tynemouth rather than North Shields), 1934.

 Proposed Bridges and Tunnels

Transporter bridge at North/South Shields - 1901.
Cantilever bridges at North/South Shields - 1926, 1929, (3 proposals).
Road tunnel North/South Shields - 1930.
Railway tunnels at North/South Shields - 1902, 1914, 1922, 1934.

© Bridges On The Tyne 2006