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Yorkshire goes it alone to improve Immingham port road link

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YORKSHIRE & HUMBER Assembly this week said that it was to go over the Highways Agency's head in a bid to secure government funding for a £55M road link to Immingham Port.

The port is one of Britain's busiest and is about to start construction of a new outer harbour.

But road access is via the single carriageway A160. Rail access is also limited, with an £8.2M upgrade scheme being sat on by the Strategic Rail Authority (NCE 3 February).

The Highways Agency recognises the A160 as a 'national route', but has resisted plans to work up an upgrade scheme.

In a bid to get the scheme moving the regional assembly has brought in consultant Arup to do the work of the Agency.

'The A160 has been studied to death, ' said Jason Copper, Yorkshire & Humber Regional Assembly policy manager for transport planning.

'But we have moved to a point now where, because it is not a Highways Agency scheme, we can't technically do any work on it. So we have got Arup to work up the scheme to a point where we can take a submission to ministers.' Copper was speaking at a ICE Yorkshire region lunchtime conversazione at Leeds Civic Hall last Friday.

The Highways Agency this week insisted that it was aware of the scheme's importance.

'We do recognise the regional importance of this route and we are supporting the regional development agency and regional planning body in their study to appraise the benefi of such an upgrade and whether it could become part of our programme, ' said a Highways Agency spokesman.

But he admitted that the support was limited. 'We are making sure the study is based on grounds that are comparable with previous studies, ' he said.

Mark Hansford

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