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Tunnel Vision

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Mike Kelly sellafield, infrastructure, TransPennine...

An interim report on the feasibility of a proposed Trans-Pennine Road Tunnel under the Peak District describes the proposal as being the “the most ambitious road scheme in the UK since the construction of the first motorway fifty years ago”.

In its report Highways England has concluded there is a “clear strategic case for the scheme”,

The interim report estimates that the tunnel link would provide productivity benefits to the region of between £171 million and £421 million per annum. Whilst the whole region would benefit both the cities of Manchester and Sheffield would particularly benefit from such a huge investment in Infrastructure

Significant reduction in travelling time!

Those travelling between the two cities would see a significant improvement in journey times especially in winter.

Currently the most direct route (scenic) between Manchester and Sheffield across the Pennines is a distance of approx 45 miles and takes on average 85 minutes.

The same journey using the M62 is approx. 30 miles longer (75 miles in length) and takes on average 95 minutes; which is why only 10% of trips between the two cities are via this route

Should the proposed new link be built; journey times could be reduced by up to 30 minutes.

A challenge for future Engineers!

Should the proposal go ahead; the project would present significant technical challenges for those engineers involved?

At a length of between 12.0 and 18.0 miles, the tunnel stretch under the Pennies would be one of the longest tunnels ever built.  

Highways England is due to publish the study in the autumn of 2016.

Acknowledgements:
Motoring Research Dec 2015; Gavin Braithwaite-Smith