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21 October 2021

Cabinet approve response to proposed £1bn A66 project consultation

At a meeting of Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet today (Thursday 21 October), members approved a formal response to the National Highways (formerly known as Highways England) consultation on the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Project. 

The project would involve making the entire route between Penrith and Scotch Corner a dual carriageway and deliver significant improvements to the A66 between J40 of the M6 at Penrith and J53 of the A1(M) at Scotch Corner.

The council has promoted the need for investment in the route over recent years and welcomes the opportunities for boosting local economic growth with improved east-west connectivity to the local, regional and national road network through the package of proposals valued at £1bn.

The full details of the proposed A66 upgrade improvements are available via the Department for Transport website.

To ensure the project maximises the benefits for local communities and businesses along the route in Cumbria, the council has set out several key tests within the consultation response which seek to mitigate concerns and potentially negative impacts of the project. These include: 

  • Supporting the delivery of a Scotch corner to Penrith “off A66” route suitable for walking, cycling and horse riding.
  • Providing high quality and dedicated service provision for HGVs along the A66 route.
  • Minimising disruption for local communities and road network during construction works.
  • Ensuring that key junctions, including Kemplay Bank and M6 Junction 40 are improved sufficiently to address current and future congestion.
  • Providing improvements for horse-drawn traffic accessing Appleby Horse Fair on the local road network.
  • Including more and smarter technology across the A66 to bolster resilience.
  • Enhance the existing strategic diversion routes, specifically the A6 and A685
  • Minimise environmental harm with a clear plan for carbon offsetting.
  • Maximising the socio economic and legacy benefits and opportunities to train and employ local people.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said:

“I am delighted that the proposals to upgrade the A66 have been welcomed across the county.  The county council has long advocated the need for improvements.

“Our priority is to ensure the project meets the needs of our communities and businesses, and drives economic growth in Cumbria, so I am pleased that Cabinet has endorsed a very detailed response to the consultation.

“The response acknowledges the many potential benefits of the project, whilst challenging the government to provide reassurance and further clarity on several key issues before giving full backing to the proposed investment.

“We will continue to work closely with the Department for Transport and National Highways to maximise the benefits the project can deliver for local communities and the wider county.”

Read the report here.



Kemplay Bank drone picture - credit Stuart Walker photography 

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At a meeting of Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet today (Thursday 21 October), members approved a formal response to the National Highways (formerly known as Highways England) consultation on the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Project.