The route in detail

A number of sections of the A66 has been upgraded or bypassed since the 1970’s, and we will now upgrade the remaining single carriageway sections to provide a consistent standard or journey between Penrith and Scotch Corner.

The route in detail

In May 2020, we made our ‘Preferred Route Announcement’, which detailed the options we have selected to improve the A66.

Since then, Kirkby Thore and Warcop have been identified as places where there’s an opportunity to revise the proposed route. You can find out more in this article on alternative options assessment.

 The project is made up of the following sections.

M6 junction 40 to Kemplay Bank

Kemplay Bank roundabout

As part of the preferred route, we have decided to provide an underpass through the existing Kemplay Bank roundabout, allowing free flowing traffic east / west and improving access to Penrith and the A6.

We are proposing new on-slip and off-slip roads for the A66, which will allow users to safely join and leave the A66 in both directions.

We are also proposing to relocate the access to the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and Cumbria Constabulary to allow for access from the A6 south of Kemplay Bank roundabout.

In this section we are proposing one major junction at Center Parcs and a number of smaller improvements.

We are also including a number of left-on, left-off junctions with associated acceleration and deceleration lanes to enable safe access to homes and businesses along this stretch.

For access to the local road network a new left-on, left-off junction will be introduced to the B6262 and another will facilitate access to St Ninian’s church on the Winderwath estate.

Center Parcs junction

We are proposing a new major junction to connect the new alignment of the A66 with Center Parcs, providing access to the holiday park and local roads.

The junction will cater for all movements on and off the A66 making it easier for users to join the main highway and preventing tail backs at peak times.

In this section of the upgraded A66 we are proposing two new junctions.

Temple Sowerby Bypass junction

We are currently assessing the connections between the existing A66 and the local road network. We are proposing a short road to connect from the Temple Sowerby bypass junction to the old A66 allowing access for local traffic and other road users from Temple Sowerby to Crackenthorpe and beyond.

Main Street junction

We are proposing a new junction at Main Street to the north east of Kirkby Thore. Main Street will pass over the proposed A66 alignment on a bridge structure.

This junction will maintain the key local connection onto the A66 and will also provide access to the British Gypsum Plant via a private access road. This will help to reduce the amount of HGVs travelling through the village.

New merge and diverge lanes are currently proposed which will allow users to safely join and leave the A66 in both directions.

In addition there are new bridge structures proposed for both Station Road and Sleastonhowe Lane to allow access over the A66. A diversion will lead from Priest Lane to Station Road to maintain local traffic access.

In this section of the upgraded A66 we are proposing one new junction and a new left-on, left-off access which will link to the local road network.

Long Marton junction

A new Long Marton junction to the to the south east of Kirkby Thore will provide left-on, left-off access to both the eastbound and westbound carriageways of the new A66 alignment.

The junction will link to the old A66 (following completion of the new A66 alignment) and an existing minor road, and will provide access to both Bolton and Long Marton.

A new bridge to the east of the junction will be provided which will allow users to pass over the new A66 alignment. This will effectively allow access in both directions onto and off the A66 and to the local road network.

New merge and diverge lanes are currently proposed which will allow users to safely join and leave the A66 in both directions.

Crackenthorpe junction

At Crackenthorpe we are proposing a new junction on the westbound carriageway of the new A66 alignment, providing left-on, left-off access.

The junction will link to the old A66 (following completion of the new A66 alignment) and the B6542, and will provide access to both Crackenthorpe and Appleby facilitating access in all directions.

New merge and diverge lanes are currently proposed which will allow users to safely join and leave the A66.

Appleby Bypass junction

Improvements will be made to the existing eastbound junction with the A66 at the start of the Appleby bypass. This will make greater use of existing infrastructure.

In this section of the upgraded A66 we are proposing three new or revised junctions.

Sandford (B6259) junction

Through feedback received we understand concerns regarding the original proposal for a westbound left-only junction at Sandford and the potential for this to divert traffic through Warcop and past the primary school. We are therefore proposing a new all-movement junction on the A66 approximately 1km west from its junction with the B6259 at Sandford.

The junction has been designed to connect to the B6259 for Sandford and Warcop and to provide access to the new A66 for farms and land on the southern side of the A66 and to the café 66 and land on the northern side.

A new structure will be provided over the new A66. This improves the connectivity between local footpaths and bridleways by providing a route over the new structure. This would improve the link between Great Ormside, Sandford and the North Pennines AONB.

Warcop junction

We are proposing to provide junctions on the westbound and eastbound carriageways at Warcop. This will allow access to the A66

in both directions. It will also provide access to Warcop village and the old A66 in order maintain access to the local road network.

On the A66 eastbound carriageway a new left-on, left-off junction will be provided joining to the existing A66 providing access to Warcop Village and properties/land north of the existing A66.

On the A66 westbound carriageway a new left-on, left-off priority junction will be provided joining the road into Warcop village. The A66 will be elevated in this location above existing ground level and a new structure will be provided under the A66 to improve the connection between local footpaths and linking Warcop, Dogber Tarn and the North Pennines AONB.

The new westbound junction will be screened by the existing Eden Valley railway embankment and will be designed to reduce visual impact.

Langrigg junction

We are proposing to maintain access to Langrigg through a left-only junction with diverge and merge lanes on the westbound A66 carriageway to allow users to leave and join safely.

A new local road on the south side of the A66 will be constructed to connect Flitholme to Broom Rigg and will allow Flitholme residents access to new A66 westbound at Langrigg left-only junction.

In this section of the upgraded A66 we are proposing to improve the junction with the A67.

A67 junction

The existing junction to the A67 does not provide eastbound access to the A66 from the A67, or allow for exit from the westbound carriageway of the A66.

The A67 junction will remain, with the existing bridge taking the A66 over the A67 being extended to the north to accommodate the new lanes. However, we are proposing new/improved merge and diverge lanes for the carriageways in both directions. This will provide better connection to Barnard Castle for road users.

Access to Bowes via The Street will be removed and replaced with the upgraded A67 junction. This will improve the connectivity between the A66 and A67 and avoid the need for strategic traffic to travel through the village of Bowes.

This route will still not permit HGV access into Barnard Castle due to the weight restriction on the bridge over the River Tees. HGVs will continue to access Barnard Castle via the A66 at Rokeby.

In this section of the upgraded A66 we are proposing two new junctions.

Cross Lanes junction

In order to improve the safety of the A66, we are proposing to remove the existing junctions which provide access to the B6277, Moorhouse Lane and Cross Lanes Organic Farm. The removal of these junctions will avoid the need for right turn manoeuvres.

Access to these roads will instead be via a new overbridge and road connecting the B6277 and Moorhouse Lane, with new slip roads connecting into this new road which will allow users to safely join and leave the A66 in both directions.

Rokeby junction

The existing junction between Barnard Castle Road and the A66 would be removed to improve safety by eliminating right turn manoeuvres.

We are proposing to provide a new junction to the west of St Mary’s Church, giving access to the existing A66 and Rokeby. The junction will cross above the A66 via a new overbridge.

New merge and diverge lanes will be provided which will allow users to safely join and leave the A66 in both directions.

Following the completion of the new A66 alignment south of The Old Rectory and St Mary’s Church, the existing A66 will be detrunked between the new junction and Barnard Castle Road to maintain access to properties and the existing HGV route to Barnard Castle.

An overbridge will link Collier Lane to the old A66 to the south of the new A66 alignment. This will provide local connectivity to the old A66 without the need to access the new A66. Users will be able to join the new A66 in both eastbound and westbound directions at Moor Lane junction.

Moor Lane junction

We are proposing a new junction to the north of Mainsgill Farm.

Moor Lane will pass under the proposed A66 via and underpass maintaining access to the local road network.

New merge and diverge lanes will be provided to allow users to safely join and leave the A66 in both eastbound and westbound directions.

Warrener Lane junction

We are proposing to remove the existing junction which currently provides the direct

connection onto the A66 from Warrener Lane. The removal of this access reduces right turns across high speed lanes, improving safety. Access to Warrener Lane will be maintained via a new link connecting to the old A66. Users will be able to join the A66 in both eastbound and westbound directions at Moor Lane junction.

Access for local farms and homes will be provided by safe alternative routes which connect to the old A66.

As part of our work to improve the A66 we have also been looking at the major junctions at each end of the route – M6 junction 40 and Scotch Corner on the A1(M).

To help us better understand these junctions we have undertaken some high level traffic modelling to look at the volume and type of traffic currently using the route and project how this may change in the future.

We recognise that, by improving the A66, we will make it a more attractive route which, in turn, means an increase in traffic. The modelling we have undertaken so far indicates that improvements to the existing junctions may be required for these expected traffic levels once the project is built.

However, now that we have decided on our preferred route and carried out further reviews of the junction locations along the A66, we need to undertake more detailed traffic modelling to give us a better understanding of the works required to each junction.

These works will be delivered as part of this project and will include measures to increase capacity and traffic flow at each location.

The diagrams below show the parts of each junction which would be impacted by the improvement works.

M6 junction 40

Scotch Corner

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