Leading North East PR consultancy, Bradley O’Mahoney, this month celebrates the 20th anniversary of its association with the Tyne tunnels between Howdon and Jarrow.
The company was first appointed in November 1999 to provide communications advice and support for the construction of a second vehicle tunnel, known as the New Tyne Crossing.
Since 2011 its work has focused on the Grade II-listed Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels which closed for refurbishment in 2013 and re-opened to the public in August 2019.
Managing director of the Boldon-based firm, Daniel O’Mahoney, said: “It is highly unusual for a PR company to have such a long association with one client.
“We nursed the New Tyne Crossing from consultation to Public Inquiry as part of the Arup team of expert advisers, then the appointment of contractors, liaison with their PR team during construction and the visit by The Queen in 2012.
“By then our attention was focused on the Grade II-listed Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels which were in a poor state of repair. Much of our work in the early days involved dealing with complaints from users about escalator and lift breakdowns.
“We helped build the case to the then-owners, the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA), to refurbish and restore the tunnels.
“One contribution of which I’m particularly proud is persuading the Authority to provide a Night Service for shift workers during the closure. It was because we opened channels of communication with tunnel users that we became aware of how many people relied on the tunnels to get them to and from work overnight.”
Alastair Swan, principal engineer to the Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels, said: “It’s a great achievement by Bradley O’Mahoney to be involved with the various tunnel projects for as long as it has. It’s a tribute to its professionalism, passion, creativity and ability to deliver. It has been a continuous presence alongside Newcastle City Council, which has provided administration and contractual support first to TWITA then the North of Tyne Combined Authority and consulting engineers Arup.
“Even during what must have been a frustrating six years when the tunnels were closed, the team cheerfully set up and operated the telephone helpline and social media to inform tunnel users of issues; bore the brunt of complaints, arranged the rescue of stranded cyclists and helped workers access the night service.
“Now the tunnels have re-opened, the Bradley O’Mahoney team can look forward to telling the world about Tyneside’s unique, iconic and historic structures.”