A new plan to create a tunnel link under the River Tees has been unveiled, which could reduce travel times and improve access to jobs. A budget of £5m has been allocated for the Tees Tunnel project, which aims to examine the feasibility of creating a tunnel link for motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and freight. This initiative could significantly reduce travel times between Hartlepool and Redcar, and provide better access to the Teesworks for residents north of the Tees, benefitting major businesses in the region. The Mayor of Tees Valley, Ben Houchen, stated that the project has the potential to bring better access to high-quality, well-paid jobs across our vital core industries and businesses, and could play a key role in making Teesworks a success.
The recent announcement of transport funding by the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, which cancelled the Northern leg of the HS2 rail line, has brought £978m of funding directly to the Tees Valley Combined Authority. This boost has led to plans for several transport initiatives, including a station and bus interchange to serve the Teesside Park and a new care and health innovation zone at the Tees Marshalling Yards, Stockton. Additionally, £20m will be allocated for the overhaul of Teesside Airport railway station, and further funding will go towards saving Middlesbrough’s Transporter Bridge. The full list of schemes will be presented to the Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet for approval.
In conclusion, the Tees Tunnel initiative shows great promise in improving transport infrastructure in the Tees Valley region. The project has the potential to lower travel times and provide better access to employment opportunities for residents while benefiting key industries and businesses in the area. This initiative is part of a wider set of transport projects aimed at boosting the region’s economy.