THE last remaining example of a historic passenger plane has been legally cleared to make its final journey by road, thanks to a North-East law firm.

The last Hawker Siddeley Trident 1C G-ARPO is to be housed at the North- East Aircraft Museum, in Sunderland, following legal work by Darlington-based BHP Law.

The plane, one of 117 Trident jets made and the last of its class anywhere in the world, needs to be transported 35 miles by road, from Durham Tees Valley Airport, where it was used for airport fire-fighter training exercises by Serco International Fire Training School.

The plane, which has been rescued by the Save the Trident group, will be restored thanks to public donations of more than £15,000.

Deb McGargle, of BHP Law, said the firm had carried out the legal work for free.

She said: “BHP has had some rather strange requests for legal assistance over the years, but we’ve never been asked how to get a passenger plane along the A19 before.

“We were approached by the Save the Trident group, who wanted to make sure everything was in place legally for what they were trying to achieve.

“Obviously, with the project being local and operating entirely on public donations and volunteer labour, BHP Law was also happy to provide its services for free.

“The Save the Trident Team and staff from Serco have been brilliant to work with. It’s been great to be part of such an exciting historic event.

“I can’t wait to go to the museum and see the plane restored to all its former glory.”

Save the Trident project leader Tony Jarrett added: “With changes of ownership looming, and the loaning of the aircraft to the museum, we wanted to make sure we had covered every issue within the law.

“With that in mind, we approached BHP Law, who were helpful from the start.

“Deb has worked tirelessly on everything we needed to have in place for our move and has made sure that all of our hard work and planning, donations, and most importantly the future of the aircraft, will be in safe hands legally.”

The 111-seater plane is now ready for loading onto three flatbed trucks for the trip to its new home.

The Trident jet airliner was used commercially from 1964, before being retired by British Airways in the early Eighties.