£700m wish list of road improvements in North drawn up by transport chiefs

Road works

A £700m wish list of road improvements for the North has been drawn up by transport officials.

Transport for the North has submitted a bid of investment in the region’s roads over the next five years.

The bid is part of the National Roads Fund which aims to unlock economic growth, deliver new homes, increase active travel, and improve public transport.

The announcement comes a week after Northern leaders launched a call for Government to commit to three ‘asks’ as part of a ‘Northern Budget’ in the Autumn Spending Round.

These are for:

£7 billion to fund a Northern Infrastructure Pipeline of road and rail projects that could begin in the next five years

£39 billion for the whole Northern Powerhouse Rail scheme

£1 billion for Transport for the North for the next three years

Transport for the North has submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) a proposal of 16 road projects which it says must be funded as part of the National Roads Fund (NRF) for 2020-2025.

The bid was made in collaboration with its 20 Local Transport Authority Members, and 50 Highway Authorities.

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.”

Included on the list is:

• A595 Improvement Scheme (Bothel) – Cumbria County Council
• A582 Dualling – Lancashire County Council
• A34 Cheadle – Greater Manchester Combined Authority
• Kendal Northern Access Route – Cumbria County Council
• The Rocket Junction – Liverpool City Council
• Wigan East-West – Greater Manchester Combined Authority

In addition, there are four schemes already under consideration by the DfT from previous rounds of funding.