A contract to assess the feasibility of a road tunnel that could cross the Pennines and the Peak District National Park has been awarded to a Mouchel/Hyder joint venture.
The £1.3million contract will look at the viability of a Trans-Pennine Tunnel as identified in the Roads Investment Strategy.
This strategic study, one of a number of studies which will help identify solutions to tackle congestion and act as an enabler to economic growth has been commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for the North (TfN).
It will investigate the strategic and economic case for a new high-standard highway route between Manchester and Sheffield, including assessing the potential opportunities of combining with a rail or light rail link. It is anticipated that the new route will cross the Pennines and the Peak District National Park by means of a road tunnel which will extend for several miles in length.
Roads Minister Andrew Jones (pictured) said: “As part of our long-term economic plan we are investing a record £13 billion in transport for the North and North-East. This announcement will look at building stronger links between Manchester and Sheffield, meaning more jobs and opportunities for people across the region.
“It is just one of the steps this government is taking to ensure working people across the country benefit from our investment in better transport.”
The purpose of this tender is for the provision of professional services to help carry our further study work prior to the options stage so the viability of the proposed Trans Pennine Tunnel can be fully understood.
Dr Jon Lamonte, lead officer for Transport for the North, added: “We welcome this important milestone and look forward to the commencement of the study which is a key element of both the RIS 1 programme and Transport for the North’s longer-term transport strategy as set out in March 2015. We look forward to continued working with Highways England and the Department for Transport to deliver the vision for a Northern Powerhouse.”