It is for local authorities in the area to promote any further improvements to local connectivity across the River Tyne.
I would like to thank the Minister for that response, but it is not really one, is it? As well as being a great icon of north-east people, culture and engineering, the Tyne bridge is an essential part of our transport infrastructure and it is in a dire state. Hon. Members from across the region, together with local authority leaders, the North of Tyne Mayor and the police and crime commissioner, have written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Transport in support of an £18.5 million bid to the levelling-up fund. Does the Minister agree that the Tyne bridge must be levelled up if it is going to be in a fit state to celebrate its 100th birthday in 2028 as a beautiful and functional symbol of the north?
I thank the hon. Lady for her question. I am aware of the bid that has gone in as part of the levelling-up fund. Obviously, the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will assess the bids submitted to that fund and we expect to announce the outcome of the competition in the autumn, but the Department for Transport is also aware of a proposal for the bridge including the bid for £36 million from the major road network funding developed by Transport for the North on behalf of north-east partners. DFT officials continue to work with Newcastle City Council on the business case for that proposal.