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Last Updated: Friday, 18 April, 2003, 11:47 GMT 12:47 UK
Tunnel inquiry nears conclusion
Tyne Tunnel
The exisiting tunnel would be by northbound traffic only
The inquiry into plans for a second Tyne Tunnel is due to end.

Opponents and supporters of plans to build a second Tyne Tunnel have been putting their case to the public inquiry for the past six weeks.

The independent government inspector is now ready to start considering his findings.

Many local people still have strong objections to the 140m scheme, and say the plans will increase pollution and make congestion even worse.

But an agreement over how to stop the work affecting the river's salmon population appears to have been reached.

Water quality

Environmentalists are concerned that the millions of tons of river debris from drilling the tunnel could be disastrous to the Tyne's hard-won reputation as one of Britain's best salmon rivers.

But the Environment Agency has withdrawn its objection after agreeing measures with the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority (PTA) to protect the fish.

It means water quality checks will be carried out every 15 minutes and an agreement that drilling will stop if the agreed purity levels are breached.

The inquiry opened in early March after five years of argument over whether the tunnel should be built.

The Tyne and Wear PTA has said the tunnel must be built if congestion on the A19 is to be reduced.





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SEE ALSO:
Date set for tunnel inquiry
13 Dec 02  |  England
Tyne tunnel decision halted
16 Aug 02  |  England
Second tunnel 'could be disaster'
24 Jun 02  |  England


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