Five routes shortlisted for northern England’s Trans-Pennine tunnel

The Department of Transport has published five options for the Trans-Pennine road tunnel that will connect Lancashire and South Yorkshire, a project that has been described as the most ambitious road scheme undertaken in the UK since the construction of the motorway system.

All five routes connect the M60 east of Manchester with the M1 north of Sheffield.

The project is part of the government’s "Northern Powerhouse" programme to boost economic activity, and reduce state subsidy, in the north of England.

The tunnel would have the beneficial side effect of reducing traffic through the Peak District national park.

John Hayes, the UK transport minister, said: "We are already spending £15bn ($19.7bn) on the biggest upgrade to the road network for generations. This next phase is aimed at creating more vital links."

John Cridland, chairman of Transport for the North, said: "This is just one of the visionary projects Transport for the North is working on, as well as other schemes, such as Northern Powerhouse Rail, as we continue to develop a strategy to connect the North and transform its economy."

The Trans-Pennine tunnel study was launched by the government in autumn 2015. The strategic and economic cases for the five routes will be assessed by the end of 2016.

Read a full report on the Trans-Pennine tunnel here.

Image: A map showing the five proposed routes (UK Government)

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