HER Majesty The Queen will be in the borough next week to officially open the second Tyne Tunnel.
Accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, The Queen will return to the site of the Tyne Tunnels 45 years after opening the first vehicular Tyne Tunnel in 1967.
The organisations behind the New Tyne Crossing project are delighted that she has kindly agreed to officially open the second vehicular Tyne Tunnel during a visit to the north east on Wednesday, July 18.
The Royal Party will visit the south side of the Tyne Tunnels, in Jarrow, where The Queen will start a wheelchair race, and meet designers and representatives of local communities, before planting a tree. They will then proceed to the north side of the tunnel and meet Tyne Tunnel staff before Her Majesty will give a speech and unveil a plaque to mark the official opening of the tunnel.
The New Tyne Crossing project was initiated and promoted by the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA).
Coun David Wood, chairman of the TWITA, said: “It is a great honour to welcome Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, to officially open the second Tyne Tunnel. Although both tunnels have been operational for a few months now, this formal opening ceremony completes the process and we are absolutely delighted that The Queen is able to perform this function, having opened the first road tunnel back in October 1967. “We will witness history in the making once again at the Tyne Tunnels on July 18.”
TT2 Limited is the Concessionaire appointed by the TWITA to deliver the project, and to operate the Tyne Tunnels under a thirty year concession.
Trevor Jackson, managing director of TT2, said: “This is a moment of immense pride for all of us fortunate enough to have been involved in this project. The New Tyne Crossing scheme has been a great success, completing ahead of schedule and transforming the daily lives of thousands of commuters. I am immensely proud that Her Majesty has agreed to officially open the second Tyne Tunnel – it really will be the jewel in the crown of the project’s highlights.”
The project has been delivered in partnership with North and South Tyneside Councils.
There will be a short off-peak closure of the Tyne Tunnels in both directions during the visit. Temporary local road closures around the south (Jarrow) junction of the Tyne Tunnels will also be in place from 9.30am.