Tyne Pedestrian & Cyclist Tunnel, Howdon to Jarrow

In 2008 we were appointed by the Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority to undertake full measured and condition surveys, together with archive research, for the production of a Conservation Plan for the Grade II Listed Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels which opened in 1951.
Each tunnel is 270m long and fully lined with largely original tiling. Early research indicated that the two enormous wooden escalators at each end of the tunnels, which provide transportation into and out of the tunnels, could be the last remaining working long wooden escalators in the world. Each spans over 26 metres in height and is an incredible 61 metres long.

As well as production of the Conservation Management Plan, we advised the Client on the various proposals for the retention of the escalators in some form by both repairing and upgrading for reuse, or retention of one or more on site in a static form as part of the historic fabric and replacing with inclined lifts.

We prepared proposals for the repair/replacements required to the lighting, tiling, flooring, drainage and signage throughout the Tunnels and Rotundas. We obtained Listed Building Consent and Planning Approval for the replacement of the two 1951 vertical lift cars with larger versions and alterations to their above ground lift houses, as by 2010, the escalators were in such a bad state of repair that they could only work for a few hours a week. We oversaw the retention and storage of important features from the 1951 lift cars and their mechanical components for possible future display. Our commission ended in 2011, when the Delivery work and architectural services went out to tender to European contractors.

Our proposals are currently bearing fruition with one escalator retained at each end but not used and a new glass inclined lift replacing the other escalator at each end. The Tunnels are expected to reopen later in 2019 after 7 years on site.

Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel

The original wooden escalators

Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel

Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel

Excavating the tunnels in 1947

Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel

Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel

The World’s longest escalator in 1951

Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel

Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel

The north entrance to both tunnels before refurbishment

Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel

Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel

The Cyclist Tunnel before refurbishment

Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnel

Nearly finished

More in Plans, Audits & Condition Surveys

  1. Woolsington Hall, 1653
  2. The Palace of Arts, 1929

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