The UK’s Department for Transport has recently published a study that shows five potential routes for its plans to build the longest road tunnel in the world.
The Trans-Pennine tunnel, which will cost around $7.8bn (GBP6bn), will stretch between 16-29km long, and will cut commute from Manchester to Sheffield by 30 minutes.
According to the Telegraph, experts have warned that road users could suffer "psychological difficulties" because of the length of the tunnel.
The Trans-Pennine tunnel study was launched by the UK government in autumn 2015 as “one of a number of studies aimed at addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the road network in the UK,” according to a statement from the Department for Transport.
All five routes join the M60 east of Manchester to the M1 north of Sheffield, with four options starting at the M67.
Transport Minister John Hayes said: “Today’s study brings us a step closer to building a Trans-Pennine roads tunnel – it would be the most ambitious project since the construction of the first motorways 50 years ago.
“We are already spending $19.6bn (GBP15bn) on the biggest upgrade to the road network for generations.”
The next phase, he added, is aimed at creating more vital links, creating jobs and opportunities and helping hardworking families across the country feel the benefits of our investment.
The study is part of the government’s next phase of road improvements, which will get underway from 2020. The current Road Investment Strategy period covers 2015 to 2020.
In the final stage of the study, expected to be ready by year-end, the strategic and economic cases and cost estimates for each of the five options will be provided.
John Cridland, chairman of Transport for the North, added: “The study shows a tunnel beneath the Pennines would both boost the economy of the region, and potentially benefit the environment of the Peak District by reducing traffic in the national park.
“This is just one of the visionary projects Transport for the North is working on, as well as other schemes, such as Northern Powerhouse Rail, as we continue to develop a Transport & Investment Strategy to connect the North and transform its economy.”