Call for £700m Road Package in North
Call for £700m Road Package to Arrest “Years of Underinvestment” in North. Transport for the North wants Government backing for 16 schemes around the North.
A £700m package of road improvements around the North has been submitted to the Government in a bid to reverse “years of underinvestment”.
The package drawn up by Transport for the North includes new roads and road improvements, and comes a week after Northern leaders launched a call for Government to commit to a ‘Northern Budget’ in the Autumn Spending Round.
Among the schemes that Transport for the North wants to see happen in the next five years are relief roads at Blyth, Northumberland, and Durham, plus improvements to the A34 at Cheadle, near Stockport, and to the A1079 in Yorkshire.
Peter Molyneux, major roads director at Transport for the North, said: “Almost all journeys start and finish on local roads and they play a major part in everyone’s life, whether as a pedestrian, cyclist, bus passenger, freight operator, driver or passenger. We all rely on a well-functioning network to access jobs, goods and services so investment in roads is not just about new tarmac – it has much wider benefits for everyday life.
“Years of underinvestment in road networks across the North has resulted in slow journey times and poor reliability. With more than 80% of commuting trips and 87% of freight movements using the road network in the North, our people and businesses are being held back – which is why our leaders are calling for a commitment to road and rail projects as part of a Northern Budget.
“Funding these economically important roads, as part of a collaborative and multi-modal proposal based on clear evidence of need and expected benefits, should be done now. Alongside public transport improvements and investment in decarbonisation, this will enable roads to play a sustainable role in our transport network for the future.
“Investment in our roads will complement the improvements in rail and ticketing to make the North better connected and improve opportunities for all.”
The plans have been backed by business groups in the region.
Sarah Glendinning, North East director of the CBI, said: “To spur further economic growth in our region, businesses are crying out for more funding to be spent on infrastructure.
“If this money is secured, it will allow businesses to grow, create jobs and make moving goods and services around the country easier. Improving major congestion pinch points on local roads also allows firms to import and export more easily as well as choose from a wider pool of labour.”
The full list of schemes on the Transport for the North list can be reviewed at the Evening Chronicle website.