A63 Castle Street cash 'great news' for Hull
A £150 MILLION upgrade of Hull's Castle Street could begin within three years.
As reported, roads minister Mike Penning has announced funding is available for development work on plans to improve the traffic-clogged A63 through the city centre.
The work is expected to include detailed design and preparation, including compulsory purchase orders and public inquiries.
The scheme is likely to be approved by ministers in the early years of the next spending review, which begins in 2015.
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Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson said: "This is precisely what we have been seeking from the Government.
"I met the previous Transport Secretary, along with the Lord Mayor of Hull Colin Inglis and the portfolio holder late last year, to urge him to invest in the preliminary work so when we reach the next spending review phase, we would not have to duplicate all the work that has already been done.
"If this goes according to plan, we could see the problems of Castle Street being resolved."
Hull East MP Karl Turner said the news would send out a positive message to companies that are considering investment in the city, such as Siemens.
He said: "This is great news and a positive step closer to sorting out a much-needed upgrade of the A63.
"I recently pressed the Transport Minister on this issue and I am delighted that funding has now been granted for the pre-construction work.
"This funding will ensure that we are legally ready to press the button on this project and that everything is in place for works to start in 2015.
"This will send a positive message to companies such as Siemens who are looking to invest and will reassure existing companies we are getting a grip of this problem."
Hull North MP Diana Johnson said: "It's good news the A63 upgrade scheme is moving to the next stage.
"Hull MPs have lobbied ministers hard for this and we hope this road scheme, vital to Hull's regeneration, will now escape the cuts happening elsewhere."
Castle Street is one of six Highways Agency schemes to have been allocated funds for development work.
Mr Penning said: "We are committed to tackling congestion, keeping traffic moving and supporting the UK economy, putting in money where it's most needed and where the public will get a good return on investment.
"I am confirming development work will be advanced on a further six schemes around the country.
"This means they will be in a good position to be selected for start of works in the early years of the next spending review period."
Previously, the Mail revealed the start date for the scheme could be pushed back by three years to 2018 – unless the Government committed to proving funding for essential preparatory work.
There were also concerns late last year that the A63 upgrade had hit the buffers after being omitted from a list of major road projects given the funding go-ahead by the Department for Transport.