The new MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland has urged Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd and Middlesbrough Council to use the second half of 2017 to prepare a “comprehensive, detailed bid” for Government funding to tackle the congested road network, warning that the public will not forgive local politicians if they fail to address the problem.
With the Government’s new £1 billion/year fund to improve the Major Road Network due to open in 2018, Mr Clarke explained that he has been told by the Roads Minister that bids from councils should ideally be in a range between £30 and £50 million. This would be sufficient to fund a range of measures which, combined, would help to ease traffic pressure on the Marton and Stokesley Roads.
In his letter, Mr Clarke conceded: “With the Swans Corner route for an East Middlesbrough bypass closed off, there is no silver bullet to resolve this problem. However, there are a number of what could be termed bronze bullets which, added together, would make an enormous difference.” He says that these could include a bypass between the Longlands Trunk Road roundabout and Ladgate Lane, the addition of new sliproads from Ormesby Bank onto the Parkway, junction redesign where Dixons Bank meets Stainton Way and a potential park and ride scheme.
Mr Clarke will hold a residents’ survey this summer to ask south Middlesbrough residents how they think the problem can be tackled, and to gain evidence on how it is affecting their lives.
In a frank conclusion to his letter, he told Mayor Budd: “I hope we can work on a cross-party basis for the good of the town to put together a really strong bid. I will be there to back a bid by Middlesbrough Council at every step of the way. We should be clear: the time for action is now, and the public will not forgive us if we fail to seize the opportunity.”