£6 billion Trans-Pennine tunnel proposed
Highways England has announced they are looking at the feasibility of building a £6 billion tunnel under the A628 Woodhead Pass between Sheffield and Manchester.
The Woodhead Pass is a notorious route which is often closed during severe storms and heavy snow conditions.
A newsletter has been circulated by Highways England around local authorities, businesses and tourism operators outlining the proposal and pending feasibility study which is to be completed by October 2016. An interim report is to be presented to the Government this year.
Jonathan Reynolds, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, has fought for improved links over the Pennines and has expressed his support for the proposal. He said “The traffic between Manchester and Sheffield is terrible. Almost everybody in my constituency has a story to tell about being stuck in it.”
The study will likely be very positive and conclude that a new strategic crossing with long sections of tunnel would be feasible to operate and maintain the infrastructure.
There would also be significant long-term economic benefits for the region and these will be taken into account in the study.
Negative comments have also been raised, including the Campaign for Better Transport who suggested the plans was a waste of money which would lead to increases congestion.