Highways England is to lead a £300,000 study looking at major improvements to road links between the M65 in East Lancashire and parts of Yorkshire.
The study, which is due to start next month, will consider what enhancements could be made to road connections between the end of the M65 at Colne, and communities like Skipton in North Yorkshire, and Keighley and Bradford in West Yorkshire.
Beyond the M65, there is currently no consistent strategic route for trans-Penning traffic, with congestion on the limited alternative routes, and long journey times. The M65 route between Preston and Leeds is five miles shorter than journeys via the M62, but takes 40 minutes longer.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the Government is “investing more than £13 billion to improve transport across the North so people can get around more easily, quickly and safely.
“This study is part of our ongoing work to ensure the routes between Lancashire and Yorkshire are fit for the future – helping link communities better and boosting the economy to supercharge the Northern Powerhouse.”
Commenting, CECA Director of External Affairs Marie-Claude Hemming said: “CECA believes there is huge potential for infrastructure to boost regional growth and rebalance the economy.
“The trans-Penning corridor is home to a great many manufacturing industries, all of which would benefit from improved connectivity. Investment to upgrade this corridor would drive economic growth, both in East Lancashire, West and North Yorkshire, and beyond, as well as relieving congestion on the M6 and M60 in the longer term.
“We look forward to working with Highways England, local and national Government, and other stakeholders, to demonstrate the solid business case that exists for these improvements.”