Phillip Hammond, Secretary of State for Transport, announced yesterday the Department for Transport’s (DfT) priorities for local transport schemes. The stand out news for the North East is that upgrades to the A19 junctions either side of the Tyne Tunnel were cancelled, and will now not go ahead for at least five years.
Welcome upgrades the Tees Valley Bus Network and the Tyne and Wear Metro were saved therefore there were no new announcements for North East road infrastructure projects. Upgrades to the Sunderland Strategic Corridor and Central Route, Morpeth Northern Bypass, Tyne and Wear Bus Corridor Improvement (Phase 1) will all be reviewed, with a further announcement pending in January 2011.
NECC has campaigned for upgrades to roundabouts either side of the Tyne Tunnel in particular because these are shown by the Highways Agency to bring a benefit to cost ratio of 5:1, with the net economic benefit to the region coming in at over £1.3bn. It begs the question, how much value for money must a project show before it is given the green light?
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