'How is it safer to run in Newcastle than it is in South Shields' - Community reacts to Great North Run route change for 2021

The North East community has both welcomed and criticised the decision to change this year's Great North Run route in a move to give runners and spectators more space both at the race and on public transport.

The iconic half marathon, which is this year celebrating its 40th birthday, will instead start and finish in Newcastle - with organisers pledging to return the finish line to South Shields as normal in 2022.

Some welcomed the news on Thursday, July 8 saying that it was "using common sense" to keep the public safe, while others highlighted the impact the route change will have on businesses in South Tyneside and elsewhere in the North East.

The Great North Run will this year start and finish in Newcastle, instead of the finish line being in South Shields.

For many traders, it is one of the biggest weekends of the year.

The race’s cancellation in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic means that this year’s GNR will be the 40th landmark staging of the event.

This is how you reacted on our social media pages:

Stephen Pattison: "Because they have changed the route I think they should be offering refunds to people who no longer want to take part. £55 for a run around Newcastle is not what many paid for.”

Lynne Griffiths: "Crazy and makes no sense other than the staggered start times.”

Graeme Wharton: "Least it's not cancelled … so happy days.”

Harry Agincourt: "Different, but pleased it's still going ahead.”

Sam Cattanach: "Will be better! Will stop it being too crowded. Nothing worse than the congestion because people have said they’ll do 1.40 to get an orange number and they’re walking before the Tyne Bridge!”

Nikki Petters: “I think they are using common sense for keeping it Newcastle this year, crowds on Metros and 70k coming into South Shields, it's only one year.”

Jamie Ailano: “It's just not the same. I'd have preferred them to cancel.”

Darren Peterkin: "It’s ridiculous that like. No matter where you send 50,000 people there’s always gonna be a risk.”

Nicola Hearn: "If we can’t run the original route then they should have cancelled it like last year. It’s such a shame for our local businesses and community."

Tricia Vickers: “How is it safer to run in Newcastle than it is in South Shields?”

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