Highways England has announced the appointment of two firms that will be carrying out extensive research into the development of enhanced transport links for the north of England in the coming years.
A £1.5 million investment will be made into several studies that will investigate all options to improve east to west links between the M6 in Cumbria and the A1(M) in the north-east, as well as methods for reducing levels of congestion currently witnessed on the M60 and M62 between Trafford and Bury.
WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff has been awarded £500,000 and will lead a team of expert engineers to examine the case for turning either the A66 or A69, or both roads, into dual carriageways in the years ahead.
Meanwhile, multinational professional services provider Arup has been awarded a £1 million contract to highlight areas in which the transport network in and around Greater Manchester could be improved.
Roads minister Andrew Jones stated: “As part of our long-term economic plan we are investing a record £13 billion in transport infrastructure in the north, meaning more jobs and opportunities for people across the region.
“Our investment is helping create a northern powerhouse and ensuring hardworking people up and down the country feel the benefits of economic growth.”
Divisional director of strategic planning at Highways England Nigel Edwards added that the outcome of both of these aforementioned studies will have far-reaching benefits for the whole of the north of England.
All major feedback on the projects has now been given a deadline for delivery of the end of 2016.