Reports outline benefit of northern road improvements

30/11/2016
Highways Reporters

Transport for the North has been working with the Department for Transport on three Strategic Road Studies in the North.

Newly published reports outline how journeys across the region could be transformed to boost economic growth.

Reports from three strategic road studies into improving the Manchester M60 North West Quadrant, upgrading key Northern Trans-Pennine routes and possible routes for a Trans-Pennine Tunnel have been made public. The reports were published alongside an announcement by the Secretary of State for Transport of development funding for four more Northern transport schemes to unlock economic and housing growth.

The publication of the reports follows confirmation alongside the Autumn Statement last week that the Government plans to dual the A66 across the Pennines, to address pinch points on the A69 and to improve the Manchester M60 North West Quadrant. Also highlighted was the fact that other cross Pennine road routes are still under consideration, including the Trans-Pennine Tunnel.

David Brown, chief executive of Transport for the North, said “Research shows improving transport across the North is key to transforming the region’s economy – particularly between east and west. The improvements announced today are a good first step in building the transport links needed to transform the North.

“These major projects will improve journeys between the North’s economic centres. They will help freight travelling into and across the North, allowing more goods to be brought into the North’s great ports and potentially reducing the amount of freight travelling into the North on already congested roads from ports on the South coast. They will also make it easier to visit the North’s outstanding natural areas, such as the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District.”

The Northern Trans-Pennine, Manchester M60 North West Quadrant and Trans-Pennine Tunnel studies have been carried out by Highways England, looking at three key areas where poor road infrastructure restricts travel and hampers economic growth.

Brown continued: “In the Autumn Statement, and through the Northern Transport Strategy published alongside it, the Government has made it very clear that we need to boost productivity to grow the UK’s economy. We know the North’s economy is hindered by poor transport links, and we know this makes it harder for people and goods to move around our region. These reports highlight three areas where improvements to our road infrastructure can be made to help boost economic growth.

“Transport for the North is currently developing a multi-modal Strategic Transport Plan, which will identify the many ways in which the economy could be transformed by connecting the North.”

The three strategic road studies form part of Transport for the North’s wider Strategic Roads programme.
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