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Department for Transport Shortlists Five Routes for New Trans-Pennine Tunnel

Five routes have been shortlisted by the Department for Transport for the proposed multi-billion pound Trans-Pennine road tunnel that will link Manchester with Sheffield.

All five of the routes link the M1 north of Sheffield with the M60 east of Manchester, with four of the routes starting at the M67.

The proposed tunnel could nearly halve journey times between the two cities and save about 30 minutes on journey times.

Data from Trafficmaster shows that the current journey from the urban centres of Sheffield and Manchester via Pennine routes excluding the M62 is around 40 miles and on average takes an hour and 15 minutes.

The distance from Sheffield and Manchester via the M62 is approximately 75 minutes and on average the travel time is just over an hour and a half.

John Hayes, Transport Minister, said that the project will be the most ambitious one of its kind since the motorways were first constructed 50 years ago.

In response, civil engineering contractors called on the Department for Transport to engage with its supply chain from the outset to make sure that the next wave of major road schemes are delivered efficiently.

The tunnel announcement was accompanied by reports that encouraged the construction of improved connections between Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford and upgrades to important parts of the A1 in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

Marie-Claude Hemming, CECA Head of External Affairs, commented: “CECA has long argued for investment in world-class infrastructure to ensure the UK remains an attractive place to live and work.

“As such we welcome the publication of these long awaited reports which will deliver this growth through quicker, more reliable journeys. But in a time of economic constraint, it is imperative that these projects are completed with speed and efficiency.”

Hemming added that CECA believes that the DfT and its delivery partners must engage with their potential supply chains early in the development process to make sure that the new routes are built in budget and on time.

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BDC 318 : Jul 2024