Research and analysis

Trans-Pennine tunnel strategic study: interim report

This publication was withdrawn on 18 August 2016

This interim report has been superseded by the updated interim report published in August 2016.

Sets out the high level case for the Trans-Pennine tunnel road scheme and the feasibility of constructing a new road link.

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Detail

This is the interim report for the Trans-Pennine tunnel strategic study. It outlines the high level case for the Trans-Pennine tunnel road scheme and feasibility of constructing a new road link.

Based on work so far, consultants have concluded that:

  • objectives for the road scheme align with government policy and there is a case for change as part of developing ambitions for a Northern Powerhouse
  • constructing a new route between Manchester and Sheffield across the Pennines is technically feasible, although the most effective route options are yet to be considered
  • operating and maintaining the new road link — a considerable proportion of which could be in-tunnel — presents significant challenges, but is feasible in principle
  • while early findings are positive, further work needs to be carried out to develop the economic case

Background to the Trans-Pennine tunnel strategic study

The Trans-Pennine tunnel strategic study is one of 6 strategic studies that will inform the development of the second phase of the Road investment strategy (RIS 2).

The study was announced as part of the first phase of the Road investment strategy (RIS 1) published in December 2014. The RIS 1 and RIS 2 set out a long-term approach to improve England’s motorways and major roads (the ‘strategic road network’).