Fresh Calls For Tees Tunnel To Link Redcar And Hartlepool

A new feasibility study has been requested to assess the possibility of building a tunnel under the River Tees to provide a link between Redcar and Hartlepool.

A new feasibility study has been requested to assess the possibility of building a tunnel link under the River Tees.

ITV News reports that the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has called for £1m of funding to back the new study. The tunnel would provide an underground link between Redcar and Hartlepool, slashing the journey time to a few minutes.

Currently, it takes about 35 to 45 minutes to travel between the two towns, which are just 12 miles apart. Motorists need to travel 25 miles through the neighbouring towns of Middlesbrough and Stockton. A new tunnel would reduce the journey time to two or three minutes, and ease traffic congestion on busy local roads.

The tunnel would open up access to the wider Tees region for residents, widening job opportunities, encouraging new investment, and boosting the local economy. It would also leave the River Tees clear of obstruction, thus avoiding impacting the shipping industry. According to ITV, a bridge link was previously ruled out for this reason.

The tunnel link would also provide access for pedestrians and cyclists. Furthermore, the tunnel may provide a new freight link and the underused Teesside Airport train station may be restored to full working condition. It is currently one of the least used rail stations in the UK, and since 2022 one platform has been deemed too unsafe to use.

The Tees Valley region was allocated £978M from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) following the cancellation of the northern leg of HS2, and these funds would be used to finance the feasibility study and any ensuing project.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen commented: “We shouldn’t limit our ambition, and a Tees Tunnel has the potential to supercharge our efforts to make Teesworks a success in which everyone can share across our fantastic region.”

“This offers another string to our bow and has the real potential to bring better access to high-quality, well-paid jobs north and south of the river in our vital core industries and businesses.”

“For far too long, people from Hartlepool have had to endure a tortuous journey of 45 minutes to Redcar and vice versa. We’ve been looking at cutting this time for years and now we have the money to have a proper in-depth look at tunnel possibilities and concepts.

Chris McEwan, Labour candidate for Tees Valley Mayor, was more sceptical, commenting: “We need a strategy that will deliver all across the Tees Valley, not just gimmicks in the run-up to an election. Our region desperately needs connecting, and investing in our roads, rail and bus networks will always be welcome and something I’ll prioritise as Mayor.”

The plan is subject to approval by voting members of the Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet, due to take place shortly.

If you would like some information about tunnel leak sealing, please get in touch with us today.