We are always looking for ways of improving the Tees Valley area, and we have some ambitious plans to grow our economy, making Tees Valley an even better place to be for businesses and residents. We have some ambitious plans to grow our economy over the next ten years as we aim to create 25,000 new jobs and 23,000 new homes.
Part of our plan includes extensive improvements to our road network. For too long, residents of Tees Valley have suffered from frustrating delays where our major roads are simply not equipped to deal with the volume of traffic that they carry on a daily basis.
Tees Valley Combined Authority, in partnership with the five local Councils and Highways England, has set out proposals for better transport connections across the area, providing businesses and residents with a high quality road network that is safe, less congested and more reliable.
These proposals include a new Tees Crossing, taking some pressure off the A19 Tees Viaduct, and enhanced east-west connectivity with improvements to the A66 between the A1(M) and Teesport, which includes a new Darlington Bypass.
An improved road network will provide more access to global markets, increasing our capacity for growth and creating more jobs for the people of Tees Valley.
There are currently 10 river crossings between the west of Stockton and the coast. However, only two of these crossings are capable of carrying large volumes of traffic, the A66 Surtees Bridge and the A19 Tees Viaduct. Any incident on the A19 or A66 therefore causes significant congestion on the local road crossings and the local road network. These issues need to be resolved to achieve Tees Valley’s economic ambitions.
Fourteen options were considered for the best route for a new crossing of the Tees, with two strategic routes selected for further analysis. The two routes are complementary, and address specific economic challenges. An Eastern Crossing would unite industrial sites on the North and South bank and would expand the catchment area for new jobs. We are taking this forward through the Combined Authority’s project development fund, and by working closely with the new South Tees Development Corporation to develop a proposal for investment. Further detail on this proposal will be published in due course.
A Central Crossing would directly address the pressing issue of congestion on the A19. We are now taking this route forward in partnership with the Department for Transport, and are setting out two options for the construction of a new bridge. The Viaduct Option would provide a new route for local traffic to cross the river, freeing up capacity on the current A19 Tees Flyover. The Newport Option would add a new crossing close to Newport Bridge, adding capacity through an additional route for traffic to and from the A66 East. Both options require redesign of junctions north and south of the river.
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A new crossing of the River Tees will provide additional capacity for up to 72,000 vehicles per day, addressing the current issue with congestion and slow journey times and ensuring that new housing and employment sites can be brought forward.
With 70% of major local businesses being internationally owned, improving access to the A19 will enhance the regional, national and international connectivity of Tees Valley. The increased connectivity will improve access to jobs and services for all road users, allowing greater connections to strategic centres and Enterprise Zones, supporting sustainable local development.
Eleven of the twelve Tees Valley Enterprise Zone sites lie within a 20 minute drive of the A19, and this north-south route serves key economic sites, including Belasis Business Park, Riverside Park, Middlehaven, Teesside Advanced Manufacturing Park, Queen’s Meadow Business Park and North Shore Innovation Centre. With the reduction in congestion will also come a reduction in the number and severity of road traffic incidents, making our roads safer for all road users.
The A66 is important for all residents, businesses and visitors of Tees Valley. Many people rely on it daily, whether for commuting, business or pleasure. However, pressures are mounting at certain points, and the proposed plans will look to improve sections of the road, junctions and provide new road links.
East-West route connectivity is particularly critical for access to Teesport and Durham Tees Valley Airport as it provides international connectivity and opens up logistics, freight and container market opportunities for businesses within Tees Valley. Teesport is the fifth largest port in the country, and the largest exporting port in England, it is therefore one of the key economic assets in the north.
In order to attract global investment and more job opportunities to the area, it is crucial to improve the existing road link between the A1(M) and Teesport. At the eastern end of the A66 is the cluster of chemical and energy industries at Teesport, the Wilton Complex and the new Mayoral Development Corporation at the former SSI site, all of which are key areas for business and job creation.
Improvements to Cargo Fleet and Tees Dock Road roundabouts are therefore planned to improve the capacity of the A66 between the A19 and Teesport. Improvements are also being investigated at the western side of Stockton, which will support growth and improve congestion and reliability between Elton and Teesside Park.
The new Tees Crossing proposals, in combination with the A66 improvements, will ensure that Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar and Cleveland are better connected via the A66.
At the western end of the A66 around Darlington there are significant constraints that impact on how the A66 works for the whole of Tees Valley.
Around Darlington the A66 is single carriageway with a large number of roundabouts and is often heavily congested, resulting in slow journey times from the A1(M) to Teesport.
Improvements have been identified on the A66 between Morton Palms roundabout and Little Burdon Roundabout Access to and from Tees Valley is also restricted at junction 57 (Blackwell Spur) of the A1(M), where vehicles can only join the A1(M) and travel south from the A66, and vehicles from the north cannot leave the A1(M) to access Tees Valley. The traffic has to use local roads, such as the A1150 and A167, which go through built up residential areas and are not suitable for the types and volume of vehicles travelling on them.
This causes significant stress on the local roads in Darlington, causing conflict with local residents, cyclists and pedestrians. It also creates environmental concerns and raises issues of safety. The problems with this route have a knock-on effect, putting more pressure on other parts of the Tees Valley road network.
A new route around the north east corner of Darlington would provide economic and housing growth opportunities and an important link that better connects Tees Valley to the A1(M) and provides more choice for regional and national journeys.
Our current road infrastructure won’t cope with the projected increase in housing and jobs over the next 10 years, therefore improvements to it are vital.
The proposed improvements to the road network in Tees Valley will ease congestion, reduce journey times and make our roads a safer place to be.
BENEFITS TO RESIDENTS
BENEFITS TO BUSINESSES
We will be hosting a number of public engagement events across Tees Valley where you can find out more about our plans. You don’t need to register to attend these, all you need to do is come along to your nearest event. We’d love to hear your views and this is a great opportunity to give us your feedback. To find out where your nearest event is, click here
Your opinion is important, so if you are unable to make one of the events, we would still welcome your feedback. Please take the time to fill in the short questionnaire here
You can also find out more about these schemes in the brochure here