Mayor Ben Houchen pointed to Darlington station as proof of TVCA's ability to deliver. Credit: TVCA

TVCA sets out £1bn transport aspirations

A package of projects that could be funded by cash reassigned following the axing of the HS2 Northern leg has been put together by the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

The suite of transport projects was announced this week at Middlesbrough station by Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen.

TVCA said that the programme represents the largest investment of money by the mayor in six years in office, with the money being earmarked to improve road, rail and bus travel across Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool.

A headline pledge has been made to bring 15 electric trackless trams to serve Middlesbrough, Redcar, Stockton, Hartlepool, and Darlington town centres, while cash has also been earmarked for the A689 road scheme between Hartlepool and Stockton, alongside money for the next phase of a new Tees flyover.

This joins money for a park and ride facility and transport hub as part of a £40m overhaul of South Bank railway station to service Teesworks.

All funding allocations are subject to agreement at TVCA cabinet later this month.

Houchen said: “We have an ambitious package of improvements planned which will revolutionise travel across Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool. Not only will these projects make a positive difference to everyone’s day to day travel, but they will also boost our continued plan to make our region an economic powerhouse with access to good, well-paid, long-term jobs.

“Be it at Darlington Station, Middlesbrough Station, or at our airport, we can show a record of delivery – but now we can offer the promise of much, much more for the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”

Both BAM and Willmott Dixon are leading on areas of Darlington station’s redevelopment, which is due for completion in 2025.

A new railway station and bus interchange for Teesside Park and the Tees Marshalling Yards, at Stockton are in line for £150m, while £20m will be put into rebuilding Teesside Airport railway station, a project trailed by the mayor’s social media output earlier this month.

Money has also been set aside to assure Middlesbrough’s third platform is fully funded at pace, paving the way for more direct trains to London. The £40m investment would provide a new platform and additional track and signalling.

The next Tees Valley mayoral election will take place this May. Teesworks, the flagship freeport project, has this month been in the spotlight, with its first full published accounts released.

A government-commissioned report into the governance of Teesworks  – chosen by Secretary of State Michael Gove to be conducted by an independent panel rather than the National Audit Office – is still to report it findings, originally due in December.

The full list of proposed allocations is:

  • Darlington Northern link road – £250m
  • Teesside Park station, work at Thornaby station and Tees Marshalling Yards transport interchange – £150m
  • Local Highway Authority improvement funding – £83m
  • Investment in urban traffic management and control centre and digital technology to improve traffic and pedestrian flows and safety and create a landscape for autonomous vehicles – £60m
  • A package to deliver A689 corridor improvements – £50m
  • Package to deliver improvements to local journeys to access employment, education and health – £45m
  • Deliver infrastructure to allow direct rail services between Darlington and Hartlepool – £40m
  • Deliver a package of interventions to sort A66 capacity constraints on the Middlesbrough – Teesport – Redcar route, including at Greystones roundabout, widening the A1085 trunk road, and work on the Tees Dock Road/Lackenby access route – £40m
  • South Bank railway station improvements and transport hub park and ride facility – £40m
  • Deliver a new platform three for Middlesbrough station at a faster pace – £40m
  • Improving freight access to the rail network – gauge clearance work on Eaglescliffe to Northallerton line – £35m
  • Work to improve roads, bridges and infrastructure on the Middlesbrough Council-owned stretch of the A66 north of the town – £20m
  • Bringing the Transporter Bridge back into action – £30m
  • Delivering a British Steel lorry park – £20m
  • Deliver the redevelopment of Teesside International Airport railway station – £20m
  • Delivery of 15 trackless autonomous electric trams in Tees Valley town centres – £20m
  • Bus station improvements for Middlesbrough – £15m
  • More work on options for an A19 Tees crossing – £15m
  • A scheme with businesses to offer subsidised access to cars to access employment and education – £10m
  • Contribution to deliver A19 junction improvements, Elwick bypass and Hartlepool Western Link – £5m
  • Develop a rail devolution proposal to government to gain more control and meaningful powers over local services – £5m
  • Eastern Tees Crossing feasibility study – £1m
  • Money to draw up a case for the electrification of the rail route between Northallerton and Saltburn – £3m
  • Feasibility study to examine removing West Dyke Crossing, Redcar – £1m
  • East Cleveland rail feasibility study for Saltburn to Boulby line to be opened to passengers – £1m
  • Middlesbrough to Nunthorpe rail enhancement feasibility study for more services – £1m

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