A new crossing of the River Tees has moved closer following an announcement that a proposal by the Tees Valley Combined Authority to develop a detailed business case has been endorsed by Government.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has agreed to help accelerate the development work to build a business case for a new Tees crossing to boost access to Enterprise Zones and ease congestion on the existing A19 crossing.
The A19 carries 96,000 vehicles a day at the point it crosses the River Tees, compared to 43,000 carried by the A1(M) at the same point, emphasising its critical importance to the Tees Valley economy.
Lord Heseltine recognised the importance of the Tees Crossing in his report earlier this year and suggested Highways England seriously investigates adding the scheme to provide a new strategic road Tees Crossing to the existing scope of the A19 Norton-Wynyard widening scheme already planned.
This is the second success for local major scheme bids following additional funding for the improved east-west road connectivity from the A1(M) to the international gateway at Teesport announced in the Autumn Statement.
Cllr Bill Dixon, lead member for transport at Tees Valley Combined Authority, said: “This marks an important step forward for two of our transformational transport priorities.
“They will deliver better connectivity and benefits for the entire North region and wider, and we are pleased this has been recognised at a national level.
“The two major projects will not happen overnight and it will take time for them to be delivered but the additional resource will help accelerate the projects to the next stage.
“The Combined Authority will continue to work closely with decision makers, regionally and nationally, to ensure that transport connectivity across the Tees Valley is a priority.”
The project will be developed by the Tees Valley Combined Authority with £450,000 Government funding through the Large Local Majors Scheme.