Journey times between Manchester and Sheffield could be cut by 30 minutes with one of the “most ambitious road schemes” undertaken in the UK in more than 50 years.
The Government has shortlisted 5 routes for a new Trans-Pennine Tunnel, which would join the M60 to the M1.
“The study shows a tunnel beneath the Pennines would both boost the economy of the region, and potentially benefit the environment of the Peak District by reducing traffic in the national park,” explained John Cridland, chairman of Transport for the North.
“This is just one of the visionary projects Transport for the North is working on, as well as other schemes, such as Northern Powerhouse Rail, as we continue to develop a Transport & Investment Strategy to connect the North and transform its economy.”
The final stage of the study is due to be completed at the end of the year and this will look at the strategic and economic cases for each option. It will also give cost estimates.
“I want people in the north of England to benefit from quicker, more reliable journeys,” added Transport Minister John Hayes.
“Today’s study brings us a step closer to building a Trans-Pennine roads tunnel – it would be the most ambitious project since the construction of the first motorways 50 years ago.”