The Tees Valley Combined Authority’s Cabinet today gave the green light to progress business cases for two major projects that could transform the road network in Tees Valley.

The Combined Authority agreed on the approach for outline business cases for plans that include a new Tees Crossing and a new Northern Link Road in Darlington.

In the coming weeks, these proposals will be presented to the Department for Transport, with a bid for up to £4million from the Government backing the Combined Authority’s £1million investment to help take them to the next stage.

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, said: “These all-important improvements will help to clear traffic blackspots that, for too long, have blighted our roadways.

“The upgrades will work for the residents, providing smoother journeys across the region. Not only that, but with increased access to Enterprise Zones and improved infrastructure to support Teesport, they will also underpin everything I am trying to do as Mayor in opening up the area for inward investment, growth and global recognition.”

A new Tees Crossing will cut down on congestion and slow journey times on the A19. It will provide additional capacity for up to 72,000 vehicles per day, and allow continued traffic flow should an incident happen on the A19 or A66.

The Combined Authority’s preferred route for a new crossing is the Viaduct Option, which would provide a new route for local traffic to cross the river, freeing up capacity on the current A19 Tees Flyover.

Cllr Bill Dixon, Leader of Darlington Borough Council and Tees Valley Cabinet Member for Transport said: “Our roads would be made safer, more efficient and stronger under these plans. Improving journey times, better access to jobs and a consideration for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users alike.”