£700m bid for roads investment in the north

Transport for the North have submitted a bid for a £700 million investment in the region’s roads over the next five years as part of the National Roads Fund.

Following calls for the government 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, and £1 billion for Transport for the North for the next three years, Transport for the North says that the £700 million investment could unlock economic growth, deliver new homes, increase active travel, and improve public transport.

A proposal of 16 road projects has been submitted to the Department for Transport, which Transport for the North 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 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 – 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.”