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, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced.
The study – due to start in April – 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.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We are investing more than £13bn 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.”
Beyond the M65, there is currently no consistent strategic route for trans-Pennine traffic, with the limited alternative routes suffering from congestion and drivers facing poor journey times given the large distances involved.
The M65 route between Preston and Leeds is five miles shorter than journeys via the M62 but takes 40 minutes longer.
It is believed investment could boost economic growth, not only in East Lancashire, and West and North Yorkshire, but also beyond, across the whole of the North of England.
It is also hoped that investment to upgrade this corridor would also help to relieve congestion on the M6 and M60 in the longer term as well as providing greater network resilience.