TfN bids for £700m roads funding

Schemes in Cumbria, Wigan, Cheadle, and Liverpool have all been put forward as part of a £700m funding pitch to the Government by Transport for the North.

The North West features strongly in the 16-project list put forward by TfN, with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Liverpool City Council, Cumbria County Council, and Lancashire County Council all included.

Greater Manchester has two schemes bidding for funding; works to the A34 in Cheadle, and east-west routes in Wigan, intended to link Junction 26 of the M6 to Junction 5 of the M61. These east-west links are also aimed at supporting the delivery of 12,000 new homes in the area.

Schemes put forward in Cumbria are the A595 improvement scheme and the Kendal northern access route, while Liverpool’s £120m bid to overhaul the Rocket Junction makes the list; this includes the demolition of the Queens Drive flyover and replacing it with a roundabout and a dual-lane underpass.

Last week, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said the existing approach into the city was “hugely negative experience” and the redesigned junction would “cut commuter misery”.

Other roads schemes are already under consideration for funding from the Department for Transport, including Cheshire’s pitch for the dualling of the A500, which will see the main route between Crewe and Junction 16 of the M6 widened and upgrade.

The road is intended to act as a key link between the motorway network and Crewe’s proposed new HS2 hub station and associated development.

All of the project are to be included as part of the national roads fund, running between 2020 and 2025.

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.”

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