Next step for bridge demolition proposal

Plans to demolish a bridge in North Shields have reached their next stage.

North Tyneside Council will begin public consultation soon on the removal of the Public Right of Way (PRoW) provided by Borough Road Bridge in North Shields.

The bridge isn’t well-used and is approaching the end of its serviceable life unless significant maintenance work is undertaken.

Due to the higher number of people crossing at ground level, in August 2019 a parallel crossing was installed on Borough Road, near the junction with Waldo Street,

In February 2020 the local authority received planning permission for the bridge’s demolition, but it must also make an order, under Section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, for the removal of the public footpath over the bridge.

The council has begun consultation with statutory bodies about this and, in the next few weeks, will advertise the order and invite comments from members of the public.

When public consultation is underway, notices will be displayed either side of the PRoW, in the local media and on the council’s website, giving 28 days for representations to be made.

In the event of the local authority receiving an objection that is not subsequently withdrawn, the matter will be referred to the Secretary of State who will take the decision whether or not to confirm the order.

Phil Scott, North Tyneside Council’s Head of Housing, Environment and Leisure, said: “The use of Borough Road Bridge has greatly declined over the years and significant council investment would be needed to repair and maintain it.

“However, I know that some were opposed to our planning application for demolition. That’s why I want to highlight the fact we are now seeking to formally extinguish the Public Right of Way over the bridge.

“In the coming weeks, as part of this legal process, there will be an opportunity for people to give their views on the proposal.”

It’s been estimated that it would cost around £360,000 to bring Borough Road Bridge to a good condition and significant maintenance work would still be required at least every 10 years.

Subject to the stopping-up order being made, the council intends to begin the demolition of Borough Road Bridge in late 2020 or early 2021.

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