Opening times

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday Closed
  • Wednesday Closed
  • Thursday Closed
  • Friday Closed
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
More information

Opening times

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday Closed
  • Wednesday Closed
  • Thursday Closed
  • Friday Closed
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
More information

Opening times

  • Monday 9.30am-5pm
  • Tuesday 9.30am-5pm
  • Wednesday 9.30am-5pm
  • Thursday 9.30am-5pm
  • Friday 9.30am-5pm
  • Saturday 9.30am-5pm
  • Sunday Closed
More information

Opening times

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday Closed
  • Wednesday 10am - 4pm
  • Thursday 10am - 4pm
  • Friday 10am - 4pm
  • Saturday 10am - 4pm
  • Sunday 10am - 4pm
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Tyne Tunnel

1967 & 2011

Two vehicular tunnels and one pedestrian tunnel under the River Tyne, connecting Jarrow on the south bank with Wallsend and North Shields on the northern end.

In order to meet the growing and widely recognised need for a river crossing over the Tyne east of Newcastle, designs for bridges that would link North and South Shields had been considered since the 1800s.

However, challenges presented by the busy shipping route meant that no bridge proposals were successful, as it would have to have been significantly high to allow ships to pass and this would have been too expensive. The original 1920s proposal for a tunnel was that it would carry high-speed electric monorail cars, but this was also eventually rejected.

The demands of the coal mining and ship-building industries continued to drive the need for a tunnel, as people needed to cross for work. The ferries that did this job were not able to cope with the demand. By 1937 the County Councils of Durham and Northumberland had developed a scheme to build three tunnels under the Tyne: a pedestrian tunnel; a cyclist tunnel; and a vehicle tunnel. The onset of the Second World War delayed their development further and plans were put on hold until 1946, when an act of Parliament called the ‘Tyne Tunnel Act’ was passed. This empowered the joint committee of the County Councils to go ahead and build the tunnels.

Unfortunately lack of available funds meant that it was not possible to build all tunnels at once. Plans for the more expensive road tunnel were put on hold, and the Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels were prioritised and opened in 1951. The demand was greater from pedestrians and cyclists, as cars were still luxuries at the time, especially for those working in those industries. Plans for the first road tunnel were eventually approved in 1961 and it was completed in 1967. It was designed to handle 25,000 vehicles per day and the original toll for cars was 2s 6d (12.5p).

The second vehicle tunnel was completed in 2011 and was built using immersed tube technology in the river section – only the third tunnel in the UK to be built using this method. 90 metre-long pre-fabricated tunnel units were constructed in a formerly derelict dry dock at Wallsend that had previously been used for shipbuilding and floated three kilometres down the Tyne, before being sunk into a prepared trench adjacent to the existing tunnel. The New Tyne Crossing won the Major Civils Project Award, the highest recognition for civil engineering projects in the UK and the wooden escalators in the Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels still hold the record for being the longest in the world.

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