Northern leaders launch £700m funding bid to upgrade region's neglected roads

Transport for the North has made a 700m bid to the National Roads Fund. Picture by Dave Thompson/PA Archive/PA Images.
Transport for the North has made a 700m bid to the National Roads Fund. Picture by Dave Thompson/PA Archive/PA Images.

Transport for the North wants a £700m government investment in the region’s roads over the next five years, claiming the economy has been held back by slow journeys and poor reliability for too long.

A bid for a share of the National Roads Fund is aimed at unlocking economic growth, delivering new homes, increasing active travel and improving public transport.

The Department for Transport has been asked to back projects for 16 “economically important roads which urgently need improvements” to support the region’s growth.

The funding bid identifies 12 ‘Major Road Network’ and four ‘Large Local Major’ schemes that could be on site or completed by 2025, including improvements to the A1079 between York and Hull, the Shalesmoor Gateway in the Sheffield City Region, and in West Yorkshire, the Dawsons Corner junction, Stanningley Bypass and A650 Tong Street in Bradford.

Disgraceful disparity over North’s transport funding remains – The Yorkshire Post says

London planned transport spending 'seven times more per head than for Yorkshire'

Peter Molyneux, major roads director at Transport for the North, said: “Years of under-investment in road networks across the North has resulted in slow journey times and poor reliability.

“With more than 80 per cent of commuting trips and 87 per cent of freight movements using the road network in the North, our people and businesses are being held back.

“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.”

'No deal Brexit could stall improvements into Yorkshire transport networks' - CBI boss

London-style "pay-as-you-go" travel plan across North at risk of failure

Other road improvement schemes in Yorkshire that are targeted by the funding bid are the first and second phases to dual the A1237 in York and the Sheffield Innovation Corridor project.

The remainder of the schemes are other parts of the North such as Cumbria, Cheshire, Liverpool, Manchester and the Tees Valley.

The funding bid was made by Transport for the North in collaboration with its 20 local transport authority members, and 50 highway authorities.