Business leaders back £700m roads plan including Tyne Bridge renovations

Business leaders have backed a GBP700m bid to improve roads across the North, which includes the long-awaited restoration of the Tyne Bridge and Central Motorway. The GBP40m facelift for one of the North East’s most iconic landmarks is part of a bid submitted by Transport for the North to the Government. Also included are the proposed relief roads in Blyth and Durham city, as well as improvements to Wessington Way in Sunderland.

And the plans have the backing of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Sarah Glendinning, CBI North East Director, said: “To spur further economic growth in our region, businesses are crying out for more funding to be spent on infrastructure. “If this money is secured, it will allow businesses to grow, create jobs and make moving goods and services around the country easier.

“Improving major congestion pinch points on local roads also allows firms to import and export more easily as well as choose from a wider pool of labour.” Transport for the North has now formally submitted the bid to the Department for Transport. It includes a total of 16 road projects.

Peter Molyneux, Major Roads Director at Transport for the North, said: “Almost all journeys start and finish on local roads and they play a major part in everyone’s life, whether as a pedestrian, cyclist, bus passenger, freight operator, driver or passenger. “We all rely on a well-functioning network to access jobs, goods and services so investment in roads is not just about new tarmac – it has much wider benefits for everyday life. “Years of underinvestment in road networks across the North has resulted in slow journey times and poor reliability.

“With more than 80% of commuting trips and 87% of freight movements using the road network in the North, our people and businesses are being held back – which is why our leaders are calling for a commitment to road and rail projects as part of a Northern Budget.”

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