Proposals for vital transport links to Teesworks to be considered

Proposals for a £11.7 million investment in roads and rail links to the Teesworks will be considered by the Tees Valley Combined Authority cabinet today. 

The money will be used to part-fund improvements to improve access to and from the UK’s largest Freeport for both freight and people. 

Work is needed to deliver improvements on the Eaglescliffe to Northallerton rail line, where low bridges and tunnels currently restrict the size of cargo containers that can be used, reports the Northern Echo.

A project would see two tunnels and two bridges improved so that larger containers can use the more direct route heading south to the East Coast Main Line.

The A66 provides a key east-west connection between Teesport and the A19 and the A1(M), and is used by more than 70,000 vehicles a day on its busiest sections. Funding here would be used to upgrade parts of the route to make it fit for the future.

If approved by the Combined Authority cabinet on Friday, £11.7million would be used as a local contribution to these key schemes, with the remaining funding being sought from a £20million bid to Government’s Levelling Up fund and a £1.5million contribution from Middlesbrough Council.

Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the Teesworks site and create thousands of good-quality, well-paid jobs for local people for generations to come. 

“We’re already forging ahead with investment, with the likes of GE Renewable Energy bringing its mammoth offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing facility to the UK’s biggest Freeport, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“But in capitalising on the Freeport and to make sure it really turbocharges our economy, we can’t be let down by poor transport links. 

“We’ll be seeing a massive amount of activity on the site over the coming years and it’s vital that businesses which want to base themselves there will have the first-class connectivity they deserve.

“We also need to ensure these are fit for the future and able to cope with the increasing freight and workers, so local people can be sure of a reliable, fast and efficient transport network. 

The vote on the funding is part of a wider update to cabinet on transport, including details that an expression of interest has been made into a Government scheme for a trial of hydrogen-powered buses.


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