Woodhead Pass between Sheffield and Manchester is to be upgraded

The Woodhead Pass, which is often closed in bad weather and following collisions

The Woodhead Pass, which is often closed in bad weather and following collisions

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A £170 million project to upgrade the A57, A628 and the Woodhead Pass has been announced.

It will include a bypass for the village of Mottram, on the Manchester side of the Trans-Pennine route.

The money will also fund a study into the feasibility of building a tunnel between Sheffield and Manchester.

Sheffield MP Nick Clegg said: “For too long, our road network has been a source of frustration, not growth. There are whole regions of our country that are unable to reach their full potential, let alone get to work on time, because the essential routes that link them to the rest of the country are way past their sell-by date.

“I’ve been pushing hard to get key roadblocks removed, especially for the A303 in the South West, the A1 north of Newcastle and the Woodhead Pass between Sheffield and Manchester.

“In desperate need of modernisation, these roads are forever clogged up with traffic, often closed in bad weather, and just not built to deal with modern demands.

“To build a stronger, fitter economy in Britain, where every region can thrive, we need to change that – giving our regions’ most strategic roads the serious investment and attention they deserve.

“Past governments have done it for the South East. I want to do it for the rest of the country.”

A total of 18 new schemes, worth around £2.3 billion, have been announced in Yorkshire and the North East.

Nationally £15 billion will be spent.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said around 1,500 construction jobs will be created in the region.

He added: “Today I am setting out the biggest, boldest and most far-reaching roads programme for decades. It will dramatically improve the network and unlock Britain’s economic potential.

“Roads are key to our nation’s prosperity. For too long they have suffered from under-investment.

“This government has a long term plan to secure the country’s future and this £15 billion roads programme is demonstration of that. It will directly benefit hardworking families across Yorkshire and the North East.”

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