Construction of 8km cycle route between Fish Quay in North Shields and St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay starts next week
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The Seafront Sustainable Route project will create a seamless, segregated, two-way route for pedestrians and cyclists between Fish Quay in North Shields and St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay.
Construction of the first phase, between North Shields and the Tynemouth Castle Inn, will start on Monday, October 23 and be completed in Spring 2024, with the rest of the route complete by 2025.
Other than a small section between Tynemouth’s Front Street and Longsands beach, two way motor traffic will be maintained on the route, although the project will introduce 20mph speed limits, raised pedestrian crossings, resurfaced footpaths, and other traffic calming measures.
North Tyneside Council cycling champion and cabinet member, Cllr Sandra Graham, said: "Since the temporary route was in use during the pandemic there has been very strong support for a permanent active travel route along the seafront.
“This has been a highly ambitious and complicated project to develop and the funding we have secured recognises the high quality of the scheme.
“It will continue the regeneration of our coastline to a similar standard seen with the revival of Spanish City and the Promenade.
“The scheme will make the seafront a safer and more pleasant place to walk and cycle, thereby increasing the number of people using sustainable forms of transport for a healthier lifestyle and helping to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality.”
£10m from the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund, £1m from Sustrans, and support from Transport North East has been secured for the project.
Temporary diversions and one-way systems will be in place during construction, with updates on the North Tyneside Council website.
Martin Gannon, chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “This new scheme will help local people to enjoy walking, wheeling, and cycling safely in what is understandably a very popular area.
“Increasing active travel use locally will help us to tackle air pollution and improve public health so I’m pleased the works are progressing, and I look forward to watching the scheme take shape.”