Official Opening of the second Tyne Tunnel by Her Majesty The Queen

9th July 2012

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, will return to the site of the Tyne Tunnels forty five years after opening the first vehicular Tyne Tunnel in 1967.

The organisations behind the New Tyne Crossing project are delighted that The Queen has kindly agreed to officially open the second vehicular Tyne Tunnel during a visit to the North East of England on Wednesday 18th July. 

The Royal Party will visit the south side of the Tyne Tunnels, in Jarrow, where The Queen will start a wheelchair race, and meet designers and representatives of local communities, before planting a tree. The Royal party will then proceed to the north side of the tunnel and meet Tyne Tunnel staff before Her Majesty will give a speech and unveil a plaque to mark the official opening of the tunnel.

The New Tyne Crossing project was initiated and promoted by the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA).
Councillor David Wood, Chairman of the TWITA, said: “It is a great honour to welcome Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, to officially open the second Tyne Tunnel. Although both tunnels have been operational for a few months now, this formal opening ceremony completes the process and we are absolutely delighted that The Queen is able to perform this function, having opened the first road tunnel back in October 1967. We will witness history in the making once again at the Tyne Tunnels on the 18th of July.”

TT2 Limited is the Concessionaire appointed by the TWITA to deliver the project, and to operate the Tyne Tunnels under a thirty year concession.

Trevor Jackson, Managing Director of TT2, said: “This is a moment of immense pride for all of us fortunate enough to have been involved in this project. The New Tyne Crossing scheme has been a great success, completing ahead of schedule and transforming the daily lives of thousands of commuters. I am immensely proud that Her Majesty has agreed to officially open the second Tyne Tunnel – it really will be the jewel in the crown of the project’s highlights.”

TT2 appointed global tunnelling experts Bouygues Travaux Publics to carry out the design and build aspects of the New Tyne Crossing project. Nicolas Caille, Project Director for Bouygues Travaux Publics UK, said: “It is an unexpected delight to welcome Her Majesty to the Tyne Tunnels to see the work we have done. Thousands of people worked on the project, and I know that each and every one of them will share my pride when Her Majesty The Queen attends to officially open the new tunnel.”

The project has been delivered in partnership with North and South Tyneside Councils, who have proudly championed the scheme.

Please note there will be a short off-peak closure of the Tyne Tunnels in both directions during the visit (less than thirty minutes). Motorists are advised to use other routes in order to avoid delays.

Temporary local road closures around the south (Jarrow) junction of the Tyne Tunnels will also be in place from 9.30am. Signed diversions will be in place. Please allow more time for your journey.

Peak hour traffic (7am – 9am; 4.30pm – 6.30pm) via the Tyne Tunnel and local roads will NOT be affected by the event.

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact Tamsin Greulich at TT2 on 0191 259 8189 / 07866 565 457, or email t.greulich@tt2.co.uk

NOTES
1. The New Tyne Crossing project is a £260M scheme to dual the A19 beneath the Tyne by building a second road tunnel, and associated highways structures. The project also involved a major refurbishment of the 1967-built Tyne Tunnel.
2. With two tunnels up and running, the original, refurbished tunnel provides two lanes of traffic for northbound travel, while the new road tunnel offers two lanes for southbound traffic.
3. The design capacity of the original tunnel was 24,000 vehicles per day. The combined capacity of the two road tunnels is now 78,000 vehicles per day.
4. The new vehicular tunnel is only the third in Britain to be built using immersed tube technology in the river section. The land tunnels built either side of the Tyne involved a variety of construction techniques, predominantly cut-and-cover tunnels as well as approximately 70 metres of Sprayed Concrete Lining, which enabled the tunnel to be built beneath major utility connections without disturbing them.
5. The Project Promoter is the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA).
6. TWITA appointed TT2 Limited as the New Tyne Crossing Concessionaire, responsible for the design and build of the new road tunnel, the refurbishment of the original tunnel, and the operation and maintenance of all tunnels (including the pedestrian and cyclist tunnels) over a thirty year concession period.
7. TT2 Ltd appointed Bouygues Travaux Publics UK as the main Design and Build Contractor for the project, responsible for the construction of the new road tunnel and associated structures, as well as the refurbishment of the original vehicle tunnel.