Fears over future of Newcastle’s central motorway with one footbridge already deemed ‘life expired’

A former Newcastle City Council[1] cabinet member has raised concerns over the future maintenance of the central motorway. Liberal Democrat[2] councillor Greg Stone said he was concerned some parts of the road could be coming to the end of their lifespan. Concrete has a life expectancy of between 50 and 100 years, with the central motorway opening to traffic in 1972.

Speaking at Thursday's meeting of the city council's scrutiny committee, Coun Stone questioned council officers on plans for the future of the route. He also said that one footbridge, between Camden Street and Northumberland[3] Road, was already deemed as "life expired".

  • Keep up to date with all the latest breaking news and top stories from the North East with our free newsletter[5]
  • The Manor Park councillor said: "I remember from my time as a cabinet member 20 years ago major structures like the central motorway - are hitting life expired. What's the risk assessment on these major structures?

    "What is the risk of failure? I'm wondering how long we can expect to carry on doing a patching job of things without fixing the underlying issues. "One of the foot bridges is life expired.

    I can understand that the city council don't want to disclose the condition of some of the structures." Officers explained that the council received funding to maintain both the city's highways network and its major structures. Speaking at the meeting, a spokesman for the council's highways team added: "There was no way we could have funded the Tyne Bridge repairs from the money we get.

    "The bridge funding we have received is for the bridge and the central motorway. We know we will need additional funding. "We know what the risks are but we don't have sufficient funding to do improvements."

    Government funding of GBP35m was confirmed earlier this year for the GBP41.4 million package for both the bridge works and upgrade to the A167 Central Motorway.

    Work to repair and restore the bridge began this month.


  1. ^ Newcastle City Council (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  2. ^ Liberal Democrat (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  3. ^ Northumberland (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  4. ^ North East mayor: Bombshell poll puts Labour and independent rivals neck and neck in election race (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  5. ^ Keep up to date with all the latest breaking news and top stories from the North East with our free newsletter (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)