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Tyne for action: North East landmark to receive £35m boost

One of the North East’s most famous icons, the Tyne Bridge, has received a £35 million government boost to secure its future.

On 2 February Roads Minister Guy Opperman MP was in Newcastle to confirm that the Tyne Bridge will undergo an extensive renovation programme, alongside major improvements on the Central Motorway East (CME) A167 to tackle congestion and improve journey times in and out of Newcastle. 

This is part of the government’s Network North plan which will improve local transport across the North East, with today’s announcement following a record £544 million in funding for a long-term plan to resurface local roads across the North East. 

With the centenary of the bridge’s opening approaching in 2028, the investment will safeguard the iconic structure for future generations and help grow the economy in Newcastle and the North East. 

“A Grade II-listed structure, the Tyne Bridge is a defining landmark of the North East,” said Opperman. “Designed by the same team as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it was the world’s longest-span bridge at the time of its construction in 1928, and over 70,000 drivers now use the bridge every day to get in and out of Newcastle. 

“The last major maintenance work to the bridge was carried out in 2001 while the A167 has not received significant maintenance since it opened in 1975. This announcement shows that the government is determined to change that. 

“The essential improvements announced today will help improve the appearance of the bridge and improve access for vehicles, reducing congestion and improving traffic flow, which in turn will improve local air quality.” 

Published On: 08/02/2024 14:00:00


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In brief

Funding awarded for development of marine digital twin of Dover harbour

The Port of Dover and the Universities of Plymouth and Manchester have been awarded a £333,585 grant by Innovate UK to create and embed an AI-augmented digital twin of Dover Harbour.  

The funding underpins a three-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) that will harness the universities’ world-leading expertise in hydrodynamic modelling and cutting-edge research in AI and machine learning to create a transformative virtual model of the Port of Dover, with huge dividends to be gained for UK productivity – smoothing and enhancing the journey of £144bn worth of UK trade every year.  

The enhanced digital twin will provide a dynamic 24-hour, 365-day all-weather simulation of the complex tidal flows across the harbour and predict, with maximum confidence, the conditions essential for safe navigation in the Port of Dover.  

As a result, the port will be able to remain operational during harsher weather conditions and welcome larger vessels and an even greater range of cruise and cargo ships, thus enabling greater operational efficiency and an increased volume of UK imports and exports through Dover.   

“We are delighted to learn of the award of this KTP and are thoroughly looking forward to working with the Universities of Manchester and Plymouth on this hugely exciting project, which will play a vital role in our journey to become the UK’s most seamless, sustainable and tech-enabled port,” said Doug Bannister, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover. 

“The enhanced navigational analysis brought by the digital twin of Dover Harbour – Britain’s busiest port - will extend our capability and operational hours and subsequently deliver a huge bonus of growth and productivity to the national economy.” 

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