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Home » Leadership » Mayor » The Mayor’s Priorities » Transport

As well as securing a deal to buy Teesside International Airport and saving it from closure, Mayor Houchen has invested in and facilitated improvements to transport infrastructure across the Tees Valley, including the redevelopments of key stations in every corner of the region, a new Tees Crossing, a rollout of EV charging points, increased walking and cycling routes and much more.

Mayor Houchen’s priorities for transport investment includes:

  • £310million secured from Government’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements to boost sustainable travel
  • £75million secured from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund to improve local connectivity
  • £25million to support the redevelopment of Darlington station
  • £20million to fully fund the redevelopment of Middlesbrough station
  • £8.2million secured to improve three key road pinch points in Tees Valley
  • Developing business cases for a new A19 Tees Crossing and bypass for Darlington
  • £1million investment to improve the region’s rail freight network
  • £220,000 to help bring a fleet of hydrogen road vehicles and new refuelling infrastructure to the region
  • £4million for the Elwick bypass, a vital new road in Hartlepool
  • £1million to improve disabled access at Billingham Station
  • £3million for an on-demand bus service for our rural communities

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Home chevron_right Parking, roads, and transport chevron_right Transport strategies chevron_right Integrated transport strategy 2018-2028

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Integrated transport strategy 2018-2028

  • Joint Strategic Transport Needs Assessment
  • Local Implementation Plan
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  • Tees Valley Strategic Transport Plan
  • Highway asset management and policy
  • Design Guide and Specification

The Integrated Transport Strategy is one of a number of documents which set out our aims for transport in the town. It was approved in December 2018, and sits below the Local Implementation Plan (LIP).

The strategy details our plans to:

  • build on our city-scale ambitions for Middlesbrough by providing a fully integrated transport network, which not only makes it easy to get around within the town, but also provides a gateway to the rest of the Tees Valley
  • deliver an integrated transport network which promotes sustainable travel (walking, cycling, public transport) by making sure different modes of travel work together seamlessly - for example, connecting walking and cycling routes to public transport routes - to enable development and growth
  • reduce the number of people dependent on their cars, which will reduce congestion, improve air quality, and help both social and economic regeneration

We'll do this by:

  • balancing the competing demands placed on the transport network
  • providing the right infrastructure for transport users to make informed decisions about travel
  • setting out proposed improvements for each mode of travel, which can be achieved individually, but which will also join up so users can switch their mode of travel easily
  • promoting and helping people to make informed travel choices

Read the Integrated Transport Strategy 2018-2028 .

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Tees Valley Combined Authority

The Tees Valley Combined Authority was created in April 2016 to drive economic growth and job creation in the Tees Valley. It is a partnership of five authorities; Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees, and works closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership, wider business community and other partners to make local decisions to support the growth of the Tees Valley’s economy.

When the Combined Authority was established in 2016, it came together with the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as one public-private organisation, with a shared purpose and brand.

Under the devolution deal with Government, the Combined Authority takes on responsibilities previously held by Westminster and Whitehall; for transport, infrastructure, skills, business investment, housing and culture and tourism. 

The Tees Valley Mayor chairs the Combined Authority and on the 6th May 2021, the people of the Tees Valley re-elected Ben Houchen to serve a second term as Tees Valley Mayor.

To find out more about the work of TVCA and key strategies to support the growth of the Tees Valley please see below.

jobs created and secured

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secured to deliver strategic priorities

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Priorities & plans.

The  Tees Valley Strategic Economic Plan sets out the Combined Authority’s priorities to improve, diversify and accelerate growth in the local economy to benefit businesses and residents. The ambition is to create 25,000 jobs and add £2.8bn to the economy by 2026.

The 10-year Investment Plan for 2019-2029 sets out the focus for the Combined Authority’s investments to create new jobs, grow the skills base and improve the Tees Valley’s infrastructure.

The Combined Authority is investing £256.7million into transport projects in the period 2019-2029 with a clear vision; “To provide a high quality, quick, affordable, reliable, low carbon and safe transport network for people and freight to move within, to and from Tees Valley” The Strategic Transport Plan will help to direct this investment.

The ‘Inspiring Our Future’ Skills Strategy for 2018-21 sets out the Combined Authority’s plan to build the skills the Tees Valley needs for a modern economy by investing in Education, Employment and Skills to raise educational attainment and skill levels

Tees Valley Business

Tees Valley Business  is the local growth hub for the Tees Valley, established by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Tees Valley Mayor. It helps ambitious SME businesses realise their growth potential by offering access to a range of practical services, from local business information, assessing growth options through to unlocking finance and funding streams.

The team can help with anything from developing a skilled workforce, accessing finance and grants, developing a growth strategy, finding the right location, product development, sales and marketing and starting up a new business.

Key Sectors

Key sectors for the Tees Valley  

These include:-

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The Northern Echo

  • Digital Edition


Consultation launched for multi-million pound transport plans for the tees valley.

strategic transport plan tees valley

A NEW multi-million pound transport plan has been launched by the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) to look at the future of travel in the area.

Darlington Borough Council leader Cllr Heather Scott OBE, who is the TVCA cabinet lead for transport, has unveiled the draft Strategic Transport Plan, which is out now for public consultation and includes £257million of schemes to improve transport in the region.

  • Brazen Stanley thief who stole bus and took it on joyride

She said: “This Strategic Transport Plan touches on every mode of travel and aspect of how we get around in Tees Valley. It will help us deliver the high-quality, efficient, reliable and well-connected network that both our people and businesses need.

“Good transport links will boost everything that the Combined Authority is doing across business and investment, culture and tourism and education, employment and skills.

"We know getting people where they want to be, when they want to be there, to access the opportunities we are creating is of vital importance. That’s why we have committed £257million to developing a transport network we can be proud of, as outlined in this plan.

“But we need to make sure that our proposals work for everyone in the region, from town centres to rural villages, for decades to come.

"That’s why I’d urge everyone in the Tees Valley to take a look at the document, visit our events to hear first-hand our plans and fill in an online questionnaire.”

  • Passenger defends bus driver who was accused of dumping 14-year-old near busy road

The combined authority's plan covers all forms of transport, from roads, rail and air to buses and sustainable travel such as walking and cycling routes.

The proposed document looks at major themes of national rail, major roads, connecting centres, unlocking key sites, and local journeys while delivering social equity and protecting and enhancing the environment.

A series of six events will run across Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees from Monday, September 9.

Copies of documents will be available in municipal buildings across the five Local Authority boroughs and all the consultation documents will be available online until it closes on November 20.

For more information and to fill out a response visit here

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Tees Valley: Buses on demand

Heather Scott, cabinet lead for Transport for the Tees Valley Combined Authority, looks at what the new ‘demand-responsive' bus service could mean for the region

Public transport can be a lifeline for those without access to a car. If those people live in an isolated or rural community, regular bus services are vital to help them go about their day-to-day lives. We are looking to revolutionise bus travel in the region, with a new demand-responsive service which will serve the third of our residents currently not within walking distance of a regular service.

Tees Valley is an area made up of five boroughs – Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees – consisting of major urban areas giving way to dramatic coastlines and beautiful countryside. However, with these dramatic views come rural villages and isolated residents.

Tees Valley Combined Authority aims to drive an additional £2.8 billion into the region’s economy and support the creation of 25,000 jobs by 2026, transforming our region. Led by the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, we are doing just that, with powers over transport, strategic investment, post-19 education, employment and skills and business support.

It’s all well and good creating jobs and taking control of a £29.5 million budget for adult education but it means nothing if our local people can’t access these opportunities. For context, some 31 per cent of all households in Tees Valley do not own a car. By comparison, 94 per cent of the population is within walking distance of a bus service, and 66 per cent is within walking distance of a regular bus service. Buses are the main mode of public transport in the region, with around 19,000 people relying on them to get to work.

There is a huge scope and responsibility to not only make sure our bus services work for the residents that need them most, but also encourage people to leave their cars at home. High quality, reliable and affordable bus services can do this, reducing traffic levels on main routes into our town centres and cutting harmful vehicle emissions.

While 90 per cent of bus users are satisfied with the service overall, only 76 per cent stated they were satisfied with punctuality and this figure is decreasing. So is the amount of journeys taken by our residents, with 28 million, or around 600,000 per week, in 2017/18, a drop of 13 per cent since 2012/13. There is also the problem of getting reliable, regular services to rural areas. We need to make sure each and every one of our residents can get to work, education and attractions, to be able to live a successful, rewarding life here.

There are also issues surrounding a complex fares and ticketing system across different operators, which can deter people from using buses, alongside worsening congestion impacting on punctuality and reliability. Further integration with other transport types and operators would only strengthen our offer.

Ten-year Strategic Transport Plan Luckily, we have the powers to do something about this and deliver a more punctual, affordable, integrated, cleaner and modern service for all. As part of our devolution deal with government, we were given control over transport in the region, so that decisions for local people can be made by local people, with money spent on local priorities.

In January, the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority Cabinet agreed a £588.2 million, ten-year Investment Plan, including £256.7 million to transform our transport infrastructure. To deliver this, we developed a detailed ten-year Strategic Transport Plan which sets out our vision for transport in the Tees Valley.

This plan not only covers buses but also every aspect of getting around, from roads and rail to air and sustainable travel. It views transport as a means to an end, not an end in itself, with interconnectivity at its heart. It examines major themes of national rail, major roads, connecting centres, unlocking key sites, and local journeys while delivering social equity and protecting and enhancing the environment.

The first way in which the plan is addressing our issues is by introducing a three-year pilot for a new ‘Uber-style’ demand-responsive bus service, announced by the Mayor earlier this year. It covers rural areas of Darlington, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar & Cleveland and will allow passengers to book a journey in advance on either a smartphone app, via a website or over the telephone. Algorithms then match passengers travelling in the same direction and schedule vehicles in real-time to find the optimal route for their trip.

The service will use small high-quality minibuses and, unlike a traditional bus service, there are no fixed routes – important when not all of our residents live on or near bus routes. Instead journeys are determined by where passengers want to go within a predefined geographical service area. The technology will also help provide more public transport options for passengers going to and from Teesside International Airport, which was recently brought back into public ownership and has a ten-year rescue plan of its own.

A provider has now been procured for this, with a view to be running early next year. If successful, there is the potential to extend the service into other rural and isolated areas.

A more comprehensive network While we look to plug the gap in more distant communities, we’re continuing to work with bus operators to develop a partnership agreement to improve the bus service offer for the residents of Tees Valley. By working alongside operators and local authorities, we’re striving to deliver a more comprehensive network, an improved ticketing offer across all operators and co-ordinate services between timetables, including rail services, as well as activity between authorities outside of Tees Valley.

Targeted investment is key to getting more people on board. This includes funding for our road network, specifically at major delay points to improve reliability, and cash to improve facilities such as bus stops and shelters and better provide bus information at those stops. Most of all, this funding must be consistent to provide continuity. It must not be stop-start.

Improving key pinch points along our road network will benefit drivers too. We have identified our own 888-mile Key Route Network. This is central to economic growth. Work is currently progressing to enhance the current major north-south and east-west routes which serve key sites within our region, including a new crossing on the River Tees to lighten the pressure on the A19, a key trunk road. This scheme was hugely well received at public consultation level, and we’re very close to submitting a business case to Government for funding to make it a reality.

We are working to upgrade our rail network for both passengers and freight. The Tees Valley Mayor has pledged £45 million to kick-start the redevelopment of Darlington and Middlesbrough rail stations to increase capacity for local, national and freight journeys and futureproof them for potential projects such as National Powerhouse rail.

More support for greener, healthier local journeys will accompany our commitment to create good-quality, accessible and integrated cycling and walking networks. This will not only make them safer and better maintained, but encourage healthier travel choices, improve air quality and add to our leisure offering for visitors.

For those still finding transport a barrier to employment, we have committed £180,000 to a ‘Wheels 2 Work’ scheme. This offers scooter and electric bike hire as well as training at reduced rates to help people get to work. It has proven to be a huge success and is growing in popularity. Plans for the future of our bus network, and wider transport aspirations, have not been developed in isolation. We have carried out a lot of research, alongside our many strategic partners and five local authorities.

Following our public consultation, the Strategic Transport Plan will be published early next year. Buses on demand will play a huge part in our new and improved transport network for those in the most isolated communities. This will sit alongside partnership working with operators as part of an innovative and joined-up transport network that our residents, businesses and visitors deserve.

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Delivering the Childminders 30 hours free entitlement

Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.

Company Focus

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Lochinvar Launches High Temperature Low GWP R290 Heat Pump

Lochinvar has unveiled a new range of high temperature R290, air-to-water heat pumps capable of producing hot water up to 70degC while still achieving high energy efficiencies and reduced environmental impact.

The new Amicus Altus is available in three potential configurations: Two-pipe heating only, two-pipe heating or cooling, and four-pipe simultaneous cooling with heating and heat recovery making it suitable for most types of commercial project.

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