Tyne Bridge's 'disgraceful' state emphasised by Great North Run

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Runners taking part in the Great North Run crossing the Tyne BridgeImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Runners who took part in the Great North Run commented on the state of the bridge

Thousands of runners crossing the Tyne Bridge for the Great North Run highlighted the "disgraceful" state of the structure, North East leaders said.

Sunday's half-marathon route took runners across the Grade II* landmark twice and led to negative comments about its condition on social media.

A bid has been submitted for almost £19m of government funding to restore the bridge for its 2028 centenary.

Council leaders are calling for the funding to be approved.

Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon said: "I saw a lot of comments on Facebook over the weekend with people saying what a fabulous run it was, but what a mess and a disgrace the bridge has become.

"We have put bids in and we are urging the government to come up with the funding to bring it back to its former glory."

Image caption,
Signs of deterioration were clearly visible in television coverage of the run on Sunday

Newcastle City Council and and the city's three MPs lodged a bid with the government in June for more than £18m to cover the costs of the Tyne Bridge's first major maintenance in 20 years. A decision is expected this autumn.

A separate £40m bid to pay for a refurbishment of both the bridge and the central motorway was also submitted to the government two years ago by Transport for the North. That is also awaiting approval. 

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: "The bridge requires a major overhaul that will require a level of funding way beyond what the city can provide.

"National investment is vital, and we continue to work with government to make progress and bring this structure back to its former glory."

Image caption,
The Tyne Bridge was opened in 1928

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service work needed to the bridge includes steelwork and concrete repairs, stonework and masonry fixes, waterproofing, bridge joint replacement and a repaint.

The bridge was opened in 1928 and is one of the best-known landmarks on Tyneside.

If funding is approved it is expected it would take between two and three years for specialist contractors to carry out the refurbishment.

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