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Northern transport options to be studied

17 September 2015 #News #Top Stories

Two studies worth more than £1.5 million are to be carried out into new transport schemes to address some of the biggest road challenges in the North of England.

Highways England has appointed companies to investigate options to improve east-west links between the M6 in Cumbria and the A1(M) in the North East, and major improvements to alleviate congestion on the M60 and M62 between Trafford and Bury.

A third study was previously announced in July, and will assess the viability of a trans-Pennine tunnel as part of a high-standard route between Manchester and Sheffield.

The studies are part of the government’s Road Investment Strategy and have been commissioned by the Department for Transport and Transport for the North.

WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff will lead a joint venture of companies to examine the case for turning either or both of the A66 and A69 into dual carriageways, as well as making other improvements along their length.

Arup has been awarded a contract to consider how the transport network to the northwest of Manchester could be improved, including the M60 from junctions 8 to 18 and the M62 from junctions 9 to 12. The study will examine both road and public transport improvements.

Nigel Edwards, Divisional Director of Strategic Planning at Highways England, said, “These two studies could lead to major benefits across the North and I’m pleased we’ve now reached the stage where we can appoint specialist companies to start this process.

“A new dual carriageway, providing a direct link between Cumbria and the North East, would mean businesses would no longer have to rely solely on the M62 to travel quickly between the two regions.

Dr Jon Lamonte, Lead Officer for Transport for the North, said, “This announcement marks another important step forward in delivering our vision of a North which acts as a magnet for investment and capitalises on the strengths of its towns and cities, as we work towards the publication of an updated Northern Transport Strategy.”

All three studies are due to be completed by the end of 2016.

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