Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Shuttle lift off this Bank Holiday weekend

THE SHUTTLE service at the Grade II-listed Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels is expecting its busiest period to-date over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Introduced in July to help people inconvenienced by the breakdown of three of the four escalators and the need to take both lifts out of service for repair, the free shuttle is now carrying around 60 customers per day between the Howdon and Jarrow entrances to the Tunnels, about a third of who are cyclists.

Paul Fenwick, Project Director for the Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA), which is responsible for major maintenance and investment at the Tunnels, said: “The usage of the shuttle has steadily grown in the six weeks it has been operating. The feedback from customers has been extremely positive.

“We are expecting a peak in demand over the Bank Holiday weekend, especially if the weather is good enough to tempt people out of doors.

“The Tunnels are still open 24/7 for those who don’t mind the challenge of walking or carrying their bikes up or down the 200ft length of the escalators, with the shuttle service operating between 6am and 8pm every day, including Sundays.”

The shuttle can carry up to six passengers and four standard-sized bicycles at any time.

Its route enables it to bypass the toll plaza on its journey south and to cut through to the north entrance using the dedicated bus lane behind the TT2 offices.

In July 2010, TWITA approved a £6 million refurbishment of the Tunnels which will include the replacement of two of the original wooden-step escalators with inclined lifts. The proposed works are still subject to planning approval.

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

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