THE family of a 49-year old man who died in a motorcycle collision have paid tribute to a ‘loving and kind-hearted man’.

Paul Gardner, of Finkle Street, Bishop Auckland, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics after the motorcycle he was riding veered off the road on Tuesday (January 8).

It is understood no other vehicles were involved in the collision which happened on Handy Drive in Gateshead.

A statement issued by Mr Gardner’s family said: “Paul was a loving and caring person with a big smile and a big heart. He was a very kind-hearted man.

“He will be truly missed by us all. We ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”

Following the collision, road closures were put in place for approximately four hours from the main roundabout on the A1114 near Asda that leads onto Riverside Way up until St Omers Road and motorists were advised to use alternate routes.

Inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances of the incident and anyone with information, or dashcam footage is asked to contact police via 101 and quote reference number 631 08/01/19.