Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has today (23 October) welcomed an announcement from Government that it will be investing hundreds of millions of pounds improving transport in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.
Ahead of the Government Spending Review on Wednesday, it has revealed funding for the region’s transport would total £310million over the next five years, to the next Spending Review.
This will help to finance revolutionary projects across all modes of travel, including rail, road, bus and cycling to make the region more connected than ever, helping local people to access opportunities right across the Tees Valley.
This includes cash for Darlington, Eaglescliffe, Hartlepool, South Bank and Redcar stations, as well as line improvements and gauge clearance to help improve freight connectivity.
It will also help deliver maintenance on the A66, critical for Freeport and Teesworks links, and many other highways schemes. Cash for bus priority road improvements, bus shelters and zero-emission vehicles and new cycleways will also be made available.
As the region continues to lead the way in clean technologies, further funding for hydrogen and electric vehicles, including Wheels 2 Work electric bikes to help people get to work or training more easily, will benefit, alongside investment in a smart traffic light management system and more.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This is another huge day for the region that will help us go further in giving people from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool the transport network that they are crying out for and deserve.
“I have been in discussions with ministers for months to make sure we get our fair share of government cash. If the government is serious about levelling up, it needs to prove it doesn’t just want to improve the roads and tube links of London, we need to see real investment in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool – and this is another example of them doing exactly that.
“Every part of our transport network in the region will be touched, with our critical practical schemes such as major station renovation and road improvements sitting alongside funding for more innovative projects like low-emission vehicles and smart traffic lights.
“As we recover our economy following the coronavirus pandemic, we need people to be able to get in, out and around our region easier, smoother and more reliably than ever before, especially given recent opportunities such as Government’s Northern Economic Campus and the Teesside Freeport. All of these game changing projects deserve a first-class transport system to match, and this money will help with my plan to overhaul our roads, trains and buses, giving us the vital 21st century infrastructure we have been crying out for.
“This funding will help us transform transport and help people reconnect and get to vital services while boosting investment and making it more efficient for freight and businesses to access key sites such as Teesworks. There’s a lot more in the pipeline and we’ll continue to work with Government to access all of the funding available to make our ambitious plans a reality.”