Publication of the public consultation report into Highways England’s plans to carry out local improve the A57 and A628 junctions to connect with the M67 demonstrate support for a longer term solution in the form of a Trans-Pennine tunnel.
The preferred route announcement for the A57/A628 published today shows plans for a short tunnelled section but many people who took part in the consultation called for plans for a deeper, longer Trans-Pennine Tunnel to be brought forward to deliver a longer term solution.
Highways England hopes to start work on the A57/A628 upgrade by spring 2020.
A feasibility study into the Trans-Pennine Tunnel to connect Sheffield and Manchester has been completed and demonstrated the solution is achievable and the chancellor confirmed in the Autumn Statement that the government will continue to examine the case for improving connectivity between Sheffield and Manchester to support the development of the Northern Powerhouse.
However, Highways England said that work is required to update the analysis using the new regional traffic models and Transport for the North is undertaking a separate Wider Transport Connectivity Assessment into the impact that a tunnel would have on the wider transport network; which will feed into the case for improving Trans-Pennine connectivity.