Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North Bid for Park and Ride Schemes; Cash Sought to Cut Traffic Congestion

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North Bid for Park and Ride Schemes; Cash Sought to Cut Traffic Congestion

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Warburton

ABOLD bid has been launched to secure pounds 15m of Government cash to cut congestion on the North East's major roads with important new park and ride facilities.

Tyne and Wear's first bus-based park and ride schemes could be introduced at two sites off the A1 Western bypass and A19 in Gateshead.

And a pounds 3.1m transformation of the Wheatsheaf junction and Stadium Way, close to the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, is also in the pipeline.

Traffic light phasing and priority lanes are also being planned along the Felling Bypass and into the Team Valley Trading Estate, both of which are in Gateshead.

And last night David Wood, chairman of the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority (PTA), said the plans would help to alleviate congestion and improve traffic flow.

He said: "This bid represents a serious move to speed up bus services on some main corridors into central Tyneside and into Sunderland city centre. After winning a Government commitment to invest pounds 320m in the future of Metro the PTA is now keen to see travel for our millions of bus passengers improved, and one good way to do that is by working together with local authorities on highway improvements."

Nexus spearheaded the joint funding bid, on behalf of the Tyne and Wear PTA, Sunderland City Council, Gateshead Council and local bus operators Go North East and Stagecoach.

It has now been submitted and is currently being assessed by Government officials for approval.

It is thought approval and funding from Government could be known by late 2010 with work commencing on these schemes in early 2011.

Bernard Garner, director general of Nexus: "We want to build Tyne and Wear's first bus-based park and ride facilities, aimed at drawing motorists from the heavily-congested A1 Western bypass and surrounding towns and cities including Washington, Birtley and Sunderland. …

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