According to transport bosses, the money is needed to pay for a raft of projects up to 2035 and which they say are needed to cut carbon emissions, improve health and make travel safer.
It is also hoped the improvements will boost the economy, with estimates suggesting better links between Ashington, Blyth and Newcastle alone could be worth an extra £50 million.
A list of ‘shovel ready’ schemes to get spending off the ground and prepare the way for grander projects includes:
An overhaul of public transport ticketing, partly to reflect changing habits post-COVID ‘Bus, Cycles & Electric Vehicles only’ lanes across Wearside A new bus station and multi storey car park in Bishop Auckland
The proposals, many of which have been talked about for years, have been drawn together in a single North East Transport Plan.
On Tuesday (November 17) the North East Joint Transport Committee, made up of the leaders of the region’s seven local authorities, is expected to approve the latest draft of the document be sent out for public consultation later this month (November 19).
Dozens more programmes and upgrades have been identified which could be completed in just five years, including:
Reopening the Northumberland Line to rail services Refurbishing the Airport Metro station and improving park and ride facilities at Jarrow and East Boldon stations A footbridge between the Stadium of Light and the former Vaux Brewery site, in Sunderland
And within decade it is hoped travellers could see:
The reopening of the Leamside Line A new Metro station at Mill Lane, in Hebburn A new Shields Ferry enter service and the replacement of the south bank landing, in South Shields New bus stations for Alnwick and Blyth, in Northumberland The dualling of the A66 and a Barnard Castle Bypass
Beyond this it is hoped new Metro stations could be slated to open at Ouseburn and Boldon, with the network extended to include Silverlink, in North Tyneside, and a ‘Leamside and Wearside Loop’ extending coverage in Sunderland and South Tyneside.