The Transport Secretary has outlined the options for the transformation of the A66, a nationally and regionally important route, as the government continues to invest on road projects.
Chris Grayling and Highways England announced the launch of a consultation that sets out ideas on how to fully dual the remaining single carriageway sections of the A66 which, in total, cover 18 miles of the 50 mile route.
Linking Penrith in Cumbria with Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire, the A66 is extremely important for freight traffic throughout the United Kingdom, as well as the main link to the Lake District and North Pennines to the East of England.
By upgrading the A66, it will change the way people travel around the UK, as connections from Scotland to the east coast of England will be improved, as will Belfast’s port traffic via Stranraer, onwards to ports such as Hull and Felixstowe.
The Transport Secretary explained why dualling the A66 is so important: “We are investing a record £13 billion to improve journeys across the North of England.
“Dualling the A66 will not only mean drivers’ journeys are quicker, safer and more reliable across the Pennines, but it 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 South Lowlands.”
A number of ideas have been set out in preparation of the consultation, including allowing through traffic from the M6 or the north east to bypass congested Kemplay Bank Roundabout.
Elsewhere, an upgrade of the five mile single carriageway between Appleby and Brough is being proposed, freeing up existing A66 for local access-only traffic.
In total, seven ideas are being proposed during the consultation, which will also explore how each option will balance local access needs with those of trans-Pennine traffic.