WSP has been commissioned to build a business case for improving road and rail links across the Central Pennines corridor. A second study will look at developing better transport connections between energy and research assets along the northwest and northeast coastlines.
The work is the first in a series of planned studies commissioned by Transport for the North to support its ‘Strategic Transport Plan and Investment Programme’, which identifies seven transport corridors that could be developed.
WSP will produce a multi-modal programme for improving rail and road connectivity along the initial two corridors. Supported by Steer Davies Gleave and Dialogue by Design, WSP will undertake transport planning and modelling, highways, environmental, risk management and stakeholder engagement.
WSP project director Nasar Malik said: “This marks a major milestone in Transport for the North’s drive to identify future transport investment that would improve connectivity across the north. I think it’s key that these first studies look beyond major city regions like Leeds and Manchester, which are often identified as the major drivers of the Northern Powerhouse agenda. In fact, it is our coastal energy hubs and the growing significance of the Pennine area as business and industrial centres, which could unlock unprecedented economic growth. “
Transport for the North has asked for the studies to be completed by summer 2018.