TVCA – Middlesbrough Rail Station 15/01/24 Picture by Dawn McNamara

A huge package of vital transport projects to transform the region has been revealed by the Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, following a funding boost of £1billion from the scrapping of HS2.

This represents the largest investment of money by the mayor in six years in office, with the money being earmarked to improve road, rail and bus travel across Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool.

Following a number of projects already made public, the mayor announced today (Monday 15th January) at an event held at Middlesbrough Station, a headline pledge to bring 15 electric trackless trams to serve Middlesbrough, Redcar, Stockton, Hartlepool, and Darlington town centres.

This was joined by a £60m allocation of cash to revolutionise travel in the region by investing in transport technology to reduce traffic and journey times for drivers as well as building the infrastructure for autonomous vehicles.

Money has also been pencilled in for and the A689 road scheme between Hartlepool and Stockton, alongside money for the next phase of a new Tees flyover.

This joins money for a park and ride facility and transport hub as part of a £40million overhaul of South Bank railway station to make it full accessible to service the thousands of local jobs being created on the Teesworks site.

A £20million boost for British Steel lorry park has also been promised in the wake of the announcement that a return of steelmaking is on the way – with £40million to boost efforts to complete vital gauge clearance work for freight on the Eaglescliffe to Northallerton railway line also supporting the development of trade through the Teesside Freeport.

Subject to Cabinet approval, a much-needed relief road to help ease Darlington’s rush-hour blues will also receive a £250million boost as well as £30million for the revitalisation of Middlesbrough’s iconic Transporter Bridge. Middlesbrough will also see vital work on the A66 commence.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We have an ambitious package of improvements planned which will revolutionise travel across Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool. Not only will these projects make a positive difference to everyone’s day to day travel, but they will also boost our continued plan to make our region an economic powerhouse with access to good, well-paid, long-term jobs.

“Be it at Darlington Station, Middlesbrough Station, or at our airport, we can show a record of delivery – but now we can offer the promise of much, much more for the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”

A new train station, and bus interchange for Teesside Park and the Tees Marshalling Yards, at Stockton, will also receive £150million, while £20million will be put into rebuilding Teesside Airport railway station.

Money has also been set aside to assure Middlesbrough’s third platform is fully funded at pace, paving the way for more direct trains to London. The £40million would provide a new platform and additional track and signalling to enable increased use of the carriage sidings.

The full list of proposed allocations is:

  • Darlington Northern Link Road – £250million
  • Teesside Park station, work at Thornaby Station and Tees Marshalling Yards transport interchange – £150million
  • Local Highway Authority improvement funding – £83million
  • Investment in the Urban Traffic Management and Control Centre and digital technology to improve traffic and pedestrian flows and safety and create a landscape for autonomous vehicles – £60million
  • A package to deliver A689 corridor improvements – £50million
  • Package to deliver improvements to local journeys to access employment, education and health – £45million
  • Deliver infrastructure to allow direct rail services between Darlington and Hartlepool – £40million
  • Deliver a package of interventions to sort A66 capacity constraints on the Middlesbrough – Teesport – Redcar route, including at Greystones roundabout, widening the A1085 Trunk Road, and work on the Tees Dock Road/Lackenby access route – £40million
  • South Bank railway station improvements and transport hub park and ride facility – £40million
  • Deliver a new platform three for Middlesbrough Station at a faster pace – £40million
  • Improving freight access to the rail network – gauge clearance work on Eaglescliffe to Northallerton line – £35million
  • Work to improve roads, bridges and infrastructure on the Middlesbrough Council-owned stretch of the A66 north of the town – £20million
  • Bringing the Transporter Bridge back into action – £30million 
  • Delivering a British Steel Lorry Park – £20million
  • Deliver the redevelopment of Teesside International Airport railway station – £20million
  • Delivery of 15 trackless autonomous electric trams in Tees Valley town centres – £20million
  • Bus Station improvements for Middlesbrough – £15million
  • More work on options for an A19 Tees Crossing – £15million
  • A scheme with businesses to offer subsidised access to cars to access employment and education – £10million
  • Contribution to deliver A19 junction improvements, Elwick bypass and Hartlepool Western Link – £5million
  • Develop a rail devolution proposal to Government to gain more control and meaningful powers over services which run here – £5million
  • Eastern Tees Crossing feasibility study – £1million
  • Money to draw up a case for the electrification of the rail route between Northallerton and Saltburn – £3million
  • Feasibility study to examine removing West Dyke Crossing, Redcar – £1million
  • East Cleveland rail feasibility study for Saltburn to Boulby line to be opened to passengers – £1million
  • Middlesbrough to Nunthorpe rail enhancement feasibility study for more services – £1million

The funding and project allocations will be subject to a decision at Cabinet later this month.