Work to upgrade the A689 for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists have taken a step forward, with plans for the key road link formally submitted to Government.
The A689 provides crucial connectivity within the Tees Valley, and a connection to the wider North East region. It is a key east-west link, connecting Hartlepool and Stockton to County Durham, and to the trunk road network at the A19 and A1(M) junctions.
The Combined Authority is seeking to secure £33.8m from Government, which alongside a local contribution of £5.9m would see a total investment of £39.7m.
Now, following a major consultation in which 8 in 10 people supported a series of improvements, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has submitted the outline business case to Government to secure funding for the work.
The scheme includes a package of junction improvements, including the A1(M) Junction 60, the A19 junction at Wynyard and further smaller upgrades around Hartlepool. The scheme also includes a package of cycling and walking improvements that would see a continuous, high-quality route between Sedgefield and Hartlepool.
The plans aim to make journeys quicker and safer for local people and enhance connectivity for freight, as well as help unlock further development and encourage cycling and waking by upgrading the network around Wynyard, Billingham, Hartlepool and nearby villages.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The A689 is a key route that provides critical links for local people and businesses but is hit with congestion, especially during the morning and evening rush hours.
“As more businesses are attracted to our area thanks to our successful Freeport bid which includes a number of key sites in Hartlepool and as Teesside Airport continues to take off, traffic will only increase and it’s important that this doesn’t hold back the growth we’re working hard to create across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.
“Our plans will make sure we give local people the safe, reliable transport network that they deserve, clearing traffic blackspots that have for too long blighted our communities. This will, in turn, support more investment, more businesses, more jobs and more housing across the region, making our roads fit for the 21st century.”
Heather Scott, Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet Lead for Transport, said: “As our population and economy grows, it’s imperative to think about our transport infrastructure. These improvements will be key to securing investments, boosting business and attracting people to the area.
“The plans will help road users get from A to B quickly and efficiently, while providing our residents with healthier and greener travel options by investing in local cycling and pedestrian infrastructure to reduce congestion and carbon emissions.”