Alerting art now on display at tunnels

Project winners left to right) Muhammed Khan, Eugena Mwita, Antonia-Leigh McCartney and Luke Lockyear.
Project winners left to right) Muhammed Khan, Eugena Mwita, Antonia-Leigh McCartney and Luke Lockyear.

Youngsters have been learning about the dangers of building sites thanks to the team carrying out the refurbishment of the Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels.

Year 6 pupils at Stephenson Memorial Primary School, in Howdon, were given an assembly by Tyne & Wear Integrated Transport Authority and contractor GB Building Solutions.

The safety talk involved how some of the potential dangers at a construction site can be reduced, such as not smoking on site, being aware of machinery and wearing the correct safety equipment.

After the talk, students designed safety posters with the winners selected as ten-year-olds Antonia-Leigh McCartney, Eugena Mwite, Muhammed Khan and Luke Lockyear, with the winning entries going on display around the tunnel’s Howdon entrance.

Paul Fenwick, project director for TWITA, said: “We were really impressed with the efforts put into the safety poster competition.

“The pupils clearly absorbed a lot of the key messages about the dangers that can exist on construction sites.

“Our four winners should be very proud of their hard work, I’m sure the entries will look fantastic on display.”

He added: “Due to their proximity, the children at Stephenson Memorial Primary School have a special connection with both the Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels and the Tyne Tunnels and it’s great to be able to work with the school on activities such as the safety poster to build up awareness of the work that is being undertaken at the tunnels.”

Nathan Jones, site manager for GB Building Solutions, said: “The bright posters will certainly do their job and draw the public’s attention.

“The children have been really engaged on this project, during the initial presentation, to give the children some information to design the posters from, I was really impressed with the questions they asked and the pre-existing knowledge they had of the tunnels.

“GB Building Solutions is committed to working with local communities to ensure safety during any work we undertake.

“It’s important to remind children that whilst construction sites may look inviting and fun, there are a lot of dangers and they are by no means playgrounds.”

The grade-II listed tunnels closed in May for a £4.9m refurbishment which will see two of the original wooden-step escalators replaced with inclined lifts, and other works including new lighting.