A £500,000 study is to be carried out to look into ways of dealing with notorious traffic blackspots in the North East as part of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative.
It will examine the case for turning the A66 or A69, or both roads, into dual carriageways to improve Northern east-west links.
The move has been welcomed by business leaders who said if the report does lead to an upgrade of these roads it will provide a massive boost to the region.
The A66 runs from Scotch Corner to Penrith and the A69 from Newcastle to Carlisle.
Jonathan Walker, North East Chamber of Commerce head of policy and campaigns, said: “If the North East is to play a meaningful role in the Northern Powerhouse then improving our connectivity to the North West is vital. This announcement is therefore hugely welcome.
“Dualling these routes would be a major boost to huge number of businesses who rely on moving goods across the Pennines as well as the region’s Port operations.
“Alongside assessing the technical requirements of these projects, the Government must recognise the enormous business benefits they would bring.”