A raft of transformative transport projects across Tees Valley that will be funded through money secured from the UK government, has been outlined by regional mayor Ben Houchen.
In October 2021, Tees Valley was awarded £310m from the government for local transport priorities, with sweeping investments designed to benefit Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.
Rail stations across every borough will receive a share of £86.5m, with investments in Darlington, Eaglescliffe, Middlesbrough, Redcar, and Billingham. Stations at Teesworks – South Bank and British Steel Redcar – will also be enhanced, as will the transport links to access them.
Tees Valley’s bus network will receive £40m to improve nine key corridors, providing better connectivity between the region’s main town centres, residential and employment areas, with extra funding to revamp the region’s bus shelters.
There will be further investment in the region’s roads, with £82.9m passed on to local highways authorities to help them address local priorities, including highways maintenance, including fixing potholes, and small-scale road improvements.
Active travel routes to facilitate walking and cycling will receive £46.2m, with 12 such routes across all five boroughs earmarked for upgrades, while the current network of active travel hubs will also be expanded to help the public take advantage of walking and cycling infrastructure.
For people who don’t own a vehicle or aren’t close to public transport links, £3.5m will be invested to continue the region’s Wheels 2 Work scheme – designed to give people access to electric bikes to help them get to and from work – and also the Tees Flex on-demand bus service.
What’s more, some £31m will support the rollout of hydrogen vehicles, as part of Tees Valley’s status as the UK’s first Hydrogen Transport Hub, and £2m backing the transition to EVs in the region.
A move to digitalisation will also see funding used for smart city technology, such as changing traffic light timings, helping to make the road network more efficient and responsive, and improve customer information.
Houchen said: “This funding will support everything from huge, transformative schemes such as Darlington and Middlesbrough’s station upgrades to smaller but no less important developments like better bus shelters and cash to maintain roads.
“With 2022 our year of construction, work is ramping up on the Teesworks site, and it’s vital that we invest in the infrastructure there now so that it has the best transport links possible and the workers of the future, no matter how they travel, aren’t left behind.
“As we continue to pioneer the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of the future this money too will help drive forward alternative, low-carbon fuel vehicles, and also help people to make more journeys on foot or on their bikes.
“When taken together, these schemes will go a long way in future-proofing our transport network and give local people the fast, reliable, safe services that they deserve and have been crying out for.”