Peak District tunnel idea 'should be looked at'

Peak District Mr Hickton said a tunnel would cut journey times between Sheffield and Manchester

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A proposal to build a tunnel through the Peak District, linking Sheffield and Manchester, should be looked at according to the area's MP.

South Yorkshire MP Angela Smith said Barnsley businessman Tony Hickton's idea to improve transport links would need to provide value for money.

Mr Hickton said current routes between the two cities were not good enough.

He said a road and rail tunnel from around junction 36 of the M1 to the M67 would boost the economy.

'Beautiful landscape'

The Penistone and Stocksbridge Labour MP said: "The economic impact of improving the link between Sheffield and Manchester shouldn't be underestimated.

"You can't put motorways through national parks, we've got to protect those very precious landscapes.

"If you stand above the Woodhead Pass and look down on it and see all those HGVs, it's a real blight on that beautiful landscape, and anyone who uses the road knows how difficult it is to use.

"So clearly there has to be a solution somewhere along the line to this problem."

Mr Hickton, from construction inspection company Hickton, said it could be built using a mixture of private and state funding.

He added: "These tunnels won't be built tomorrow, but if we don't press the button now, we'll never be ready, so why not now?"

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