Your article 'Region's leaders support £7bn transport scheme' (Courant, March 18), highlights the importance of the region's ageing road networks.

However, the scheme is conditional on Government funding, and it must be remembered that the transport structure in the North-East has been unfunded for many years.

The North East Transport plan lists some 250 projects costing an estimated £6.8bn, but one important scheme is missing, and that is to demolish the 19th century bridge at Ovingham.

The bridge was built in 1883, for the horse and cart era, and is a precarious looking bridge with only a single line for traffic, able only to carry light vehicular traffic.

It connects the towns of Prudhoe and Ovingham, and links the north and south side of the River Tyne.

Northumberland County Council can no long maintain a bridge that is not fit for a modern transport structure,with the impending dangers of climate change predicted to cause more rain fall and flooding.

Serious consideration must be given to replacing the existing Ovingham Bridge, bringing the towns of Prudhoe and Ovingham into the 21st century.

PETER GALLAGHER

London