WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and Arup are to lead two studies that have been set up to address what Highways England describes as some of the North’s biggest road challenges.
Arup has won a contract worth just over £1M to look at how the transport network to the northwest of Manchester could be improved from the perspective of both roads and public transport. Areas they will examine include the M60 from junctions 8 to 18 and the M62 from junctions 9 to 12.
The £500,000 contract given to WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff is to examine the case for turning the A66 or A69, or both roads, into dual carriageways as well as other improvements. The company will lead the project as a joint venture that includes Halcrow, TRL and Steer Davies Gleave.
The studies are part of the government’s Road Investment Strategy. They have been commissioned by the Department for Transport and Transport for the North.
Highways England divisional director of strategic planning Nigel Edwards said: “These two studies could lead to major benefits across the North and I’m pleased we’ve now reached the stage where we can appoint specialist companies to start this process.
“A new dual carriageway, providing a direct link between Cumbria and the North East, would mean businesses would no longer have to rely solely on the M62 to travel quickly between the two regions.
“We’re already creating a smart motorway on the busiest stretch of the M60 in Greater Manchester, but the new strategic study will look at what else can be done to alleviate congestion in this part of the region.”
In July a joint venture between Mouchel and Hyder was awarded £1.3M for trans-Pennine tunnel study. All three studies are due to be completed by the end of 2016.