The £1bn project to expand 18 miles of the A66 from single to dual carriageway, introduce new bypasses and junctions has been put out for public consultation.
The A66 links Penrith in Cumbria with Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire and is a key regional route.
Highways England is developing plans to fully dual the remaining single carriageway sections of the A66, which total 18 miles of the 50-mile road.
The statement from Highways England said: “Upgrading the A66 route will provide enormous benefits to people living locally but will also change the way people travel round the UK, improving connections from Scotland to the east coast of England and Belfast’s port traffic, via Stranrear, onwards to ports including Hull and Felixstowe.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Dualling the A66 will not only mean drivers’ journeys are quicker, safer and more reliable across the Pennines, but is part of our pledge to ensure that the business opportunities of the Northern Powerhouse spread out from the great cities of the North of England to every city, town and rural community from the Midlands to the Scottish Lowlands.”
The consultation sets out ideas for each of the remaining sections of single carriageway. They include:
- Allowing through traffic from the M6 or the North East to bypass congested Kemplay Bank Roundabout
- Dualling the existing three-mile section between Penrith and Temple Sowerby including a new junction arrangement for Center Parcs at the western end and an optional short bypass to avoid High Barn at the eastern end
- A new bypass north or south of Kirkby Thore and north of Crackenthorpe – following the route of the old railway line or the old Roman road
- Providing an upgrade of the five-mile single carriageway between Appleby and Brough – freeing up the existing A66 for local access-only traffic as well as walkers, cyclists and horse riders
- Re-designing and improving the junction with the A67 at Bowes to allow full westbound and eastbound access and exit to and from a newly dualled 1.9-mile section of the single carriageway
- Dualling the existing road between Cross Lane and Rookley with options for a short bypass of St Mary’s Church and Old Rectory at the eastern end of the 1.8 mile section
- Similarly, dualling the existing four mile section between Stephen Bank and Carkin Moor but with three different options, including short bypasses – for the eastern end
More information about the project, including consultation events and a sign-up link for regular email updates, is available on the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine scheme page.