The Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond, today gave a keynote speech to the North East Economic Forum in North Tyneside. Other speakers included North East Chamber of Commerce President Martyn Pellew, Mayor of North Tyneside Council Linda Arkley and Chairman of One North East Paul Callaghan. The seminar focussed upon the transport challenges facing the North East.
The Secretary of State used the event to announce interim funding of £2.3m for the Silverlink junction, just north of the Tyne Tunnel. This will be used to help alleviate congestion once the second Tyne Tunnel project is completed. He also stated that there will be an announcement on the Intercity Express Programme within the coming weeks.
It was made abundantly clear to the Secretary of State that North East businesses are frustrated that upgrades to junctions immediately either side of the Tyne Tunnel have been postponed – notwithstanding the relatively small allocation announced for Silverlink today.
The Secretary of State suggested that the A19 is among schemes throughout the UK being considered for short-listing should any funds be made available if infrastructure projects elsewhere in the country experience an underspend.
NECC will continue to argue for investment in schemes, such as upgrades to the A19 junctions, that unlock access to national and international markets, while creating added capacity for investment, growth and employment.
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