Chi forces transport minister to acknowledge the need for funding on repairs to Tyne Bridge

Chi forces Transport Minister to acknowledge the need for funding repairs on Tyne Bridge

Chi questioned the Transport Minister on funding for the Tyne Bridge repairs. She asked:

“What plans he has to improve transport links across the River Tyne?”

Andrew Stephenson MP initially said:

“It is for local authorities in the area to promote any further improvements to local connectivity over the River Tyne”.

Chi pressed the Minister to acknowledge the importance of this transport icon, saying:

“As well as being an icon of North East people, culture and engineering, the Tyne Bridge is an essential part of our Transport infrastructure and it’s in a dire state.”

The Minister was forced to acknowledge the need for transport spending and the bids made (and being prepared) for much needed renovations of the Tyne Bridge. Chi tweeted a video of the exchange, saying:

“The Minister thinks transport links across the Tyne are nothing to do w him. Perhaps thats why transport spending in #London is 2.5 times more per head than in the #North?  We need refurbishment of #TyneBridge to celebrate 100 years of this beautiful & critical transport icon”

Tweet with video of the exchange:

https://twitter.com/ChiOnwurah/status/1408015883457470471?s=20

Chi’s interventions follows a letter from Newcastle Council which she signed along with other Tyneside MPs, the North of Tyne Mayor and the Police and Crime Commissioner on the need for bridge repairs: https://chionwurahmp.com/2021/06/chi-signs-newcastle-council-letter-on-tyne-bridge-repairs/

Chi also held a debate on the Tyne Bridge on Wednesday 23rd June, where she said:

“ The Tyne Bridge was last fully painted in 2000, and the  paint system is designed to last approximately 18-20 years – a new paint job is overdue, as well as repairs needed for the road deck, the towers, the stonework, the steelwork and the installation of a new drainage system.”

“ The Government makes much of its ‘levelling up’ agenda and yet the North seems to be forgotten when it comes to celebrating our communities. I have raised with the Department for Business and for Trade that they  only seem to use  London images – red buses and Big Ben  – to promote the UK abroad.  Why not the Tyne Bridge and the Angel of the North?”

“We want to ensure it is looking its best as the symbol of our region’s proud engineering past and, we hope, prosperous future. We want to make it fit for a Queen, the Queen in fact, we very much hope the Queen will consider commemorating the Bridge her grandfather opened.”

 

Tweet with excerpts of Westminster Hall debate: https://twitter.com/ChiOnwurah/status/1407982194589569024?s=20

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