The MP for Jarrow has come out against proposals for a flyover development after hundreds of constituents signed a petition opposing the project.
South Tyneside Council is weighing up plans to replace two level crossings in Boldon through a separate scheme, which is supported by Network Rail.
The council says ‘Tilesheds Flyover’ proposals are being considered as an alternative to an East Boldon ‘road-over-rail’ bridge development that would see existing half-barriers at Tileshed Lane and Boldon Lane replaced by full ones.
The flyover plans have, however, sparked a considerable backlash among residents and environmentalists.
An online petition that has garnered more than 4,000 signatures overall and several hundred among area residents has prompted a response from Jarrow MP, Kate Osborne, ahead of a council meeting where the petition is due to be discussed.
The council meeting will be held later today.
“I have closely looked into the proposals and I strongly believe that the construction of a bypass and bridge will have a hugely detrimental impact on the environment and the lives of people who reside, travel or work in the area,”Ms Osborne said.
Just over a month ago, the Green Party opposition councillor, David Francis, requested the plans be considered by the Place Select Committee, one of the council’s scrutiny panels.
Councillors were told then that the proposals had come about as a result of Network Rail’s plans to install full barriers at the site, with the current half-barriers having been considered a “serious risk”.
Campaigners opposed to the scheme argue that the green belt area’s protected features – including its designation as an area of Special Scientific Interest – make the project unworkable.
They point to the borough council’s climate emergency declaration, which the Jarrow MP also highlighted, saying that “these proposals, were they to come to fruition, would completely go against the local authority’s commitment to a carbon neutral future by 2030.”
A council spokesperson previously said no decision has been made and there is a substantial amount of work still to be done, including a full detailed design and environmental assessment of the bridge option.
Should the council’s cabinet decide to progress with the proposed bridge it would also be subject to the planning process.
To find out more, visit: www.southtyneside.gov.uk/btlc