Tyne and Wear

Tyne and Wear
Status:Ceremonial and Administrative County (no county council)
Region:North East England
- Total
Ranked 44th
540 km²
ONS code:2D
NUTS 3:UKC22/23
- Total (2003 est.)
- Density
Ranked 12th
Ethnicity:96.8% White
1.8% S.Asian
Members of Parliament

David Anderson, Nick Brown, Stephen Byers, Alan Campbell, David Clelland, Jim Cousins, Bill Etherington, Doug Henderson, Stephen Hepburn, Sharon Hodgson, Fraser Kemp, David Miliband, Chris Mullin

Missing image
Image:TyneWearNumberedAlpha copy.png

  1. Gateshead
  2. Newcastle
  3. North Tyneside
  4. South Tyneside
  5. Sunderland

Tyne and Wear is one of six metropolitan counties in England, comprising the estuary areas of the rivers Tyne and Wear. It is divided into the following council areas: South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and Sunderland. In 1986 the county council was abolished, and most of its powers devolved to the metropolitan districts, but the county still exists as a legal entity. The area is also a ceremonial county.

It borders on the administrative counties of Durham and Northumberland, from which it was created in the 1974 local government reorganisation. It is in the North East region.



Although the county council was abolished in 1986, several joint bodies exist to co-ordinate services on a countywide basis. Most notable is the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority which co-ordinates transport policy across the county. Through its Passenger Transport Executive, now known as Nexus, it owns and operates the Tyne and Wear Metro light rail system, as well as the Shields' ferry service and the Tyne tunnel linking communities on either side of the River Tyne. Also through Nexus, the Authority subsidises socially necessary transport services (including taxis) and operates the concessionary fares scheme for the elderly and disabled.

The Passenger Transport Authority is a "precepting authority", raising funds by imposing a levy on the Council Tax of the five constituent authorities of Tyne and Wear County.

Other joint bodies include the Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives Service and the Tyne and Wear Metropolitan Fire Brigade. These joint bodies are administered by representatives of all 5 of the constituent councils. In addition the Northumbria Police force, which covers the whole of Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, is one of several joint forces in England spanning two or more counties. The force was created in 1974, and so is not a by-product of the abolition of the county council.


The county crosses the traditional border between Northumberland, and County Durham: the River Tyne. Newcastle upon Tyne and North Tyneside are north of it, and Gateshead, Sunderland and South Tyneside are to the south of it.

Some organisations do not use Tyne and Wear, instead retaining the traditional boundary between Northumberland and County Durham. This includes particularly wildlife and biological recording groups, for whom the stability of recording boundaries is important for the maintenance of long-term records (see Watsonian vice-counties).

The river was also used as the border in 1883 when Parliament created the Church of England Diocese of Newcastle out of the old Diocese of Durham and remains so still.

Additionally, administrative convenience, demographics and loyalty mean that many sporting organisations also use the traditional boundary; For example, the Northumberland Football Association is based in Newcastle upon Tyne, as is the minor counties Northumberland County Cricket Club and its four regular grounds.

Some residents want a return to the pre-1974 border, and prefer to use the traditional counties when referring to places that also lie within Tyne and Wear.

Others feel that the Tyne is linking factor, not a dividing line. Many inhabitants refer to themselves as Tynesiders or Geordies, regardless of which side of the river they are from. Despite a strong local rivalry, there are strong links between Newcastle and Gateshead, as well as the many bridges that link the two communities; one example being the (failed) joint bid for European Capital of Culture in 2008. In recent years, several plans have been put forth with various degrees of seriousness to unite Newcastle, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside and sometimes Sunderland as a single city, the population of which (if Sunderland were included) would rank as the second-largest in the UK.

Sunderland is somewhat separated from Tyneside, with its inhabitants calling themselves Wearsiders or Mackems. Affinity for the Wearside area extends beyond Sunderland - consultative referenda among communities in East Durham have shown majorities in favour of joining Sunderland and Tyne and Wear.

Towns and villages

For a complete list of all villages, towns and cities see the list of places in Tyne and Wear.

Places of interest

External links

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de:Tyne and Wear

eo:Tyne and Wear es:Tyne y Wear no:Tyne and Wear sv:Tyne and Wear


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