Lord Heseltine has unveiled a detailed report that proposes a series of transport projects to aid the recovery of the Tees Valley.
The 90 page document puts forward the construction of a new road crossing across the River Tees, the upgrading of the area’s strategic road network and the extension of the TransPenine electrification programme.
The former Conservative deputy prime minister cited a multi-million pound redevelopment of Darlington Station as one of the keys to the area’s regeneration.
Lord Heseltine was chosen to be the chair of the Tees Valley Inward Investment Initiative in November last year.
The group has been given the task of driving investment in the Tees Valley area after the SSI’s Redcar plant was closed down.
More than 2,200 jobs were lost as a result of the SSI steelworks closure, accompanied with other major job losses at the Air Products energy from waste plant and the Boultby potash mine.
Lord Heseltine believes transport is one of the most important sectors in ensuring money is brought back to the region and said that in comparison to other UK regions, the Tees Valley has suffered from a lack of significant road and rail investment.
He is now calling on the Government to seriously consider the extension of the existing TransPenine electrification programme so that it includes rail lines between Teesport and Northallerton.
He also said that both Transport for the North and Network Rail should commit to redeveloping Darlington Station in its 2019 to 2024 Control Period 6.