Building In Howdon, Tyne And Wear
A pair of tunnels under the River Tyne for use by pedestrians and cyclists.
I have vague memories of using the Tyne Cyclist and Pedestrian Tunnel, probably about 35 years ago, but what did stick in my memory was how long I was on the huge escalators getting down to the bottom!
With the tunnel having just been refurbishment, we thought we'd have a visit. Depending on where you are travelling from you can either start at the north end in Howdon or south in Jarrow. There are nearby car parks from either end.
The tunnel was opened in 1951 with a cost of £833,000 and was used by around 20,000 people every day to cross the River Tyne.
Entering the building it was suggested to walk down the now stationary escalators and then take the lift up at the other end. The escalators are actually the original wooden step versions and at the time of construction they were the highest single-rise escalators in the UK, with a length of 60m and a vertical rise of 26m.
After traversing the escalators to the bottom you find that it's not a single tunnel, but a pair of tunnels running in parallel. One for the cyclists and one for the pedestrians.
Both tunnels are 270m long with the pedestrian tunnel having a diameter of 3.2m and the cycle one being slightly wider at 3.7m. In the middle is a sign stating the old county boundary marker.
At this point we were 12m under the River Tyne.
Heading to the other end are an identical set of escalators, but the lift is now the preferred choice for travelling back to the surface. Unfortunately they are no longer the tallest in the UK with Angel station on the London Underground taking that honour. However they still remain the longest wooden escalators in the world.
Look out on each side of the river for the big chimneys which are part of the tunnel ventilation.
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From the car park there are signposts down to the tunnel entrance.
Place contributed by Simon Hawkins
Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue Pele tower up a remote hill or a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.
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