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News from the UK Civils Industry 20th May 2019

Posted by: Melonie Debenham
Industry News

Green light for £1 billion trans-Pennine transformation

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled the transformation of a key northern route, improving connections between the east and west of England.

The A66 is a key regional route, linking Penrith in Cumbria with Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire. It is a hugely important route for freight traffic across the United Kingdom and as the main link to the Lake District and North Pennines to the East of England.

Highways England is developing plans to fully dual the remaining single carriageway sections of the A66, which total 18 miles of the 50 mile route.

Upgrading the A66 route will provide enormous benefits to people living locally but will also change the way people travel round the UK, improving connections from Scotland to the east coast of England and Belfast’s port traffic, via Stranrear, onwards to ports including Hull and Felixstowe.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Dualling the A66 will not only mean drivers’ journeys are quicker, safer and more reliable across the Pennines, but is part of our pledge to ensure that the business opportunities of the Northern Powerhouse spread out from the great cities of the North of England to every city, town and rural community from the Midlands to the Scottish Lowlands.”

Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “The A66 connects businesses, communities and families across the north of England, and this highly anticipated upgrade is great news for the local, and regional economies and will improve the national road network. I would encourage everyone with an interest in the scheme to get involved with this consultation.”

Ideas for each of the remaining section of single carriageway include: allowing through traffic from the M6 or the north east to bypass congested Kemplay Bank Roundabout; dualling the existing three-mile section between Penrith and Temple Sowerby; a new bypass north or south of Kirkby Thore and north of Crackenthorpe; upgrading the five mile single carriageway between Appleby and Brough; and re-designing and improving the junction with the A67 at Bowes.

The consultation will also offer opportunities to find out details about how each option will balance local access needs with the needs of trans-Pennine traffic, while also catering for slow moving vehicles such as farm traffic, walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

Transport for the North’s Major Roads Director, Peter Molyneux, said: “We welcome the launch of this consultation. This will improve east/west connectivity on this vitally important route, which will enable economic growth and improved opportunities across the north.” Full story.

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United Utilities tenders £2 million contract

United Utilities (UU) has gone out to tender with a contract for corporate finance and venture capital services worth £2 million to support its £750 million Manchester and Pennines Resilience (MaPR) scheme in AMP7.

The project will have a relatively long lead time until anticipated financial close (Summer 2022).

The water company is looking to appoint a Financial Adviser who can demonstrate good experience in working on projects that have been required to satisfy the criteria set out in HM Treasury 5 Case Model for Project Appraisal (the Green Book) and have strong credentials in assisting clients to prepare Businesses Cases under this model within similar timescales.

In addition, experience in UK infrastructure projects and a UK regulated utilities environment will be highly desirable, particularly in advising on projects which have the UK Government and/or UK Economic Regulators as key stakeholders.

Estimated value of the contract is £2 million. The initial contract term from award of the FA is expected to be 3 years, with the potential for a further two year extension option beyond financial close.

Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate is 3rd June 2019. Full story.

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