Cumbria County Council has welcomed the announcement made over the weekend by the Secretary of State for Transport, regarding the preferred route for the upgrade of the A66 between Cumbria and Yorkshire.
The Highways England project will help better connect Cumbria, and provide improved accessibility for people to live, work, visit and invest in the county.
The upgrades – which include making the entire route between Penrith and Scotch Corner dual carriageway, can now progress to the next stage of route design, ahead of further public consultation before an application for a Development Consent Order with Highways England, hoping to start construction during 2024/2025.
Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “I am pleased that the proposals to upgrade the A66 are progressing. The county council has long advocated to Highways England the need for improvements, and this is good news for communities and businesses along the route.
“As proposals move forward, the council will continue to make the case to the Department for Transport and Highways England to ensure the scheme delivers real benefit for local communities and the wider county.
“Whilst the progress on improvements to the A66 between Penrith and Scotch Corner is welcome, it is also important that we see further support and investment in roads throughout the county.
“Building on this announcement I hope that the Government will also be in a position to move forward important proposals on the A66 at the Brigham / Broughton junction and at Ramsay Brow in Workington; alongside applications to deliver improvements to the A595 at Grizebeck and near Bothel and the further development of proposals for the Kendal Northern Access Route.”
Dr Steve Curl, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership lead for Transport and Infrastructure, said: “An effective transport infrastructure is a key requirement to facilitate growth, productivity and inclusion, all of which are priority activities for Cumbria LEP.
“That will be even more important in the months and years ahead as we emerge from current difficulties. I am therefore delighted to see that plans to upgrade the A66 between Penrith and Scotch Corner – a major arterial link for Cumbria – are moving forward.
“Whilst our North-South connectivity by road and rail has served us well, the East-West link does need further development. Improvements to this key trans-Pennine route will help businesses in Cumbria and offer new opportunities.”
The full details of the proposed A66 upgrade improvements are available via the Department for Transport website.