Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North Roads Not Bad but They Could Be Better; the Region's Road Infrastructure Is Improving, Not Least with the New Tyne Tunnel. but There Is Still a Long Way to Open Up the North East to the Rest of the UK, Say Newcastle Property Experts

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North Roads Not Bad but They Could Be Better; the Region's Road Infrastructure Is Improving, Not Least with the New Tyne Tunnel. but There Is Still a Long Way to Open Up the North East to the Rest of the UK, Say Newcastle Property Experts

Article excerpt

Byline: Tyne Tunnel

THERE is no doubt that positive investment in infrastructure works can produce a platform for securing new development - this is strongly evidenced throughout the North East.

Whilst the region does suffer from peak-hour congestion, particularly in relation to the Newcastle/Gateshead Western Bypass and previously the Tyne Tunnel, the highways infrastructure is good relative to some heavily congested areas within the United Kingdom. It is the external links which need improving!

Infrastructure investment has generally fallen at the doors of the public sector, given that they could release funds to overcome problems, which would otherwise leave development opportunities lying fallow. The future may however be less certain given the extent of cutbacks both within national and local government.

The private sector needs to make a return for its investment in bricks and mortar, but without pump-priming expenditure, development schemes would not be brought forward.

Perhaps the best example relates to the former development corporations, which promoted regeneration schemes on the banks of the rivers Tyne, Wear and Tees.

Public sector funds were channeled towards key flagship schemes, which could demonstrate critical mass and bring about radical change in terms of the environment and public perceptions.

I am in no doubt that without long-term decisions being taken in relation to infrastructure investment, then the feasibility of private-sector commitment to both residential and employment-related development would be much curtailed.

Here in the UK we have followed the example of North America, whereby positive leverage in terms of private-sector investment is stimulated, following upon initial upfront Government funding.

Investment in infrastructure is very broad-based, whether this be in terms of highway construction, overcoming heavy abnormal costs arising from former use, or other investment which can change perceptions of specific areas towards attracting new investment.

Schemes such as Royal Quays, Newburn Riverside and Middlehaven have seen the public sector investing in reclamation and new infrastructure to bring forward schemes which will host future employment and new housing, thus bringing about the regeneration of areas which would have otherwise stayed derelict. …

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