WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and Arup have been appointed to carry out two studies worth a combined £1.5m into improving road and transport connections in the North.
The studies will investigate how to improve east to west links between the M6 in Cumbria and the A1(M) in the north east and how to tackle congestion on the M60 and M62 between Trafford and Bury.
A research contract for a third study, which also forms part of the Northern Powerhouse agenda, was awarded to a joint venture between Mouchel and Hyder in July and will assess the viability of a trans-Pennine tunnel.
Commissioned by the Department for Transport and Transport for the North (TfN), the studies are part of a set of seven designed to tackle the biggest problems on the strategic road network across England.
Dr Jon Lamonte, lead officer for TfN, said: ‘Tackling congestion hotspots across the highways network which links the North is a vital element of TfN’s long term strategic programme and will deliver significant, transformational benefits for commuters, travellers and businesses.
‘As such, this announcement marks another important step forward in delivering our vision of a North which acts as a magnet for inward investment and capitalises on the combined strengths of its towns and cities, as we work towards the publication of an updated Northern Transport Strategy to be presented to the chancellor by the 2016 Budget.’
WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff has been awarded a £500,000 contract to lead a joint venture of companies, including Halcrow, TRL and Steer Davies Gleave, examining the case for turning the A66 or A69, or both, into dual carriageways as well as making other improvements along their length.
Arup has been awarded a contract worth more than £1m to consider improvements to the transport network northwest of Manchester, including the M60 from junctions 8 to 18 and the M62 from junctions 9 to 12. Road and public transport improvements will be considered.
All three northern studies are due to be completed by the end of 2016.
Surveyor's Highway Management conference will take place on September 23rd and 24th in Manchester. To register go to: www.highway.surveyorevents.com