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A66 improvement options published

Words: Laura Edgar
A66 Scotch Conrer / Shutterstock_1052121395

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has published a consultation on plans to fully dual the remaining single-carriage section of the A66 in the north of England.

The A66 links Penrith in Cumbria with Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire. It is an important route for freight traffic and is the main link to the Lake District and North Pennines to the east of England.

The government and Highways England hope that upgrading the A66 will benefit local people and change the way people travel around the UK, as the changes should improve connections from Scotland to the east coast of England, and Belfast’s port traffic, via Stranraer, onwards to ports in Hull and Felixstowe.

The 50-mile A66 includes 18 miles that is single carriageway. Proposals for this section include:

  • Allowing through traffic from the M6 or the North East to bypass congested Kemplay Bank Roundabout in Penrith.
  • 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.
  • Providing an upgrade of the five-mile single carriageway between Appleby and Brough, to free up the existing A66 for local access-only traffic as well as walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
  • 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.
  • Dualling the existing four-mile section between Stephen Bank and Carkin Moor but with three different options – including short bypasses – for the eastern end.

Grayling said dualling the A66 means that drivers’ journeys would be “quicker, safer and more reliable” across the Pennines, and it is part of the government's commitment to make sure 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”.

Transport for the North’s major roads director, Peter Molyneux, added that dualling the A66 “will enable economic growth and improved opportunities across the North”.

The consultation can be found here on the Highways England website.

Image credit | Shutterstock