Manchester could be set to benefit from a Trans-Pennine tunnel linking the city to Sheffield, as part of a £800million road scheme in the North West.
A new study will be conducted into the feasibility of building the tunnel to reduce congestion over the Peak District, whilst £170million is set to be invested into building the long-awaited Mottram by-pass on the existing route.
Other routes into the city will also be improved after the Government today announced a £15billion plan to triple levels of spending by the end of the decade to increase the capacity and condition of England’s roads.
George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “This is all about investing in the northern powerhouse we are seeking to build.
“I promised when I was in the North West that we would address this area’s economic needs for the future.
“For years our roads have been neglected. Now that this government is fixing the economy, we can afford to invest properly in our roads – unlocking jobs and local growth by creating a road network that is fit for the 21st century.”
Congestion on the existing A57, A628 and A628 routes between the city and Sheffield have been an ongoing problem for years. However the introduction of the Mottram by-pass is set to reduce traffic in villages such as Mottram, Tintwhistle and Hollingworth.
Further investment will also occur to improve southern access to Manchester, joining up previously announced schemes to provide better access to the city and to Manchester Airport.
A further strategic study will also look at long-term options for capacity around the north and west of Manchester to make sure the M60 does not become a barrier to the further growth of the city.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I am setting out the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve the network and unlock Britain’s economic potential.
“Roads are key to our nation’s prosperity. For too long they have suffered from under-investment.
“This is the biggest investment in roads in a generation and will transform infrastructure in the north west. It will directly benefit hardworking families across the north west.”
“This is the biggest investment in roads in a generation and will transform infrastructure in the North West. It will directly benefit hardworking families across the north west.”
Overall, nine schemes will be promised across the region which will bring 600 new jobs.
Spending will take place during the next parliament from 2015. Plans have also been backed up with a pledge for £1.4billion which will focus on road maintenance spending across the area.
Image courtesy of Simon Forsyth, with thanks.