A66 Northern Trans-Pennine

We're investigating the case for improvements to the A66 between the M6 at Penrith and A1 at Scotch Corner.

Region:  North West
Start date:  TBC
Cost:  TBC
Status:  PLANNED
Type:  Major Scheme
End date:  TBC

Progress report

Following a busy consultation in summer 2019, we have now announced the preferred route for dualling the remaining single carriageway sections of the A66 between Penrith and Scotch Corner.

The A66 is both a nationally important road, linking the M6 at Penrith in Cumbria with the A1(M) at Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire, and a key regional route. As well as benefiting local people the upgrade will support tourism and freight traffic, improving connections between ports in Scotland and Northern Ireland and those in England at Hull and Felixstowe.

The proposed route includes six new bypasses as well as an underpass at the congested Kemplay Bank roundabout near Penrith. We’ve selected the following options to bypass existing sections of the route or provide dualling alongside the existing single carriageway road:

  • A northern bypass of a three-mile section between Penrith and Temple Sowerby
  • The northern bypass option for Kirkby Thore
  • The most northerly of two options bypassing Crackenthorpe
  • Taking forward the single option to dual a five-mile section between Appleby and Brough alongside the existing section of single carriageway
  • Similarly, converting a 1.9-mile section of the route north of Bowes – the current, single carriageway Bowes bypass - into a dual carriageway
  • A bypass south of the Old Rectory between Cross Lane and Rokeby instead of a conversion which would have required demolishing buildings
  • The most northerly of three bypass options linking sections of existing dual carriageway between Stephen Bank and Carkin Moor

The proposals also include significant improvements to the existing junctions between Barnard Castle and the A66 at Bowes and Rokeby. These will improve safety at the two junctions and make for safer, smoother journeys for HGVs. The options we have selected were the most popular among the hundreds of people who responded to last year’s public consultation.

All of the villages being bypassed will benefit from the removal of high volumes of traffic, including HGVs, from the existing road as well as improved community connectivity. Pedestrians, cyclists, and horse riders will also benefit from the upgrade which will reduce collisions, competition from other vehicles and associated congestion along one of the most important commercial routes in the north of the United Kingdom.

You can find out more about this announcement and view the proposed route in our Preferred Route brochure. You can also view our Options Consultation Report to see how we addressed the feedback received.

If you think your property will be affected by our proposals, you can find out more information by reading our property and compensation leaflets below:

View the preferred route map

What's next?

Now we have announced the preferred route, we will carry out further surveys and investigations to help us design the scheme in more detail. Once Government restrictions on social distancing are lifted, you may start to notice some activity in the area as begin these surveys.

We plan to consult on the design of the road and the junctions in 2021, giving you a further opportunity to share your views with us. Throughout the process we will keep listening and talking to everyone with an interest in the project. There will also be regular updates and information on this webpage.

Development Consent Order process (DCO)

The A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project is known as a Nationally Significant Project (NSIP). This means that we must apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to proceed with the project.

This short video gives more information about the process behind the DCO and how we build roads.


Date Event
Autumn 2018 Completion of options identification and short-listing
Winter 2018 Decision to proceed
May to July 2019 Public Consultation on proposed options
August 2019 to May 2020 Analyse consultation feedback and prepare consultation report and other materials
May 2020 Preferred Route Announcement (PRA)
Spring 2020 Release consultation report

Why we need this scheme

The A66 is a key national and regional strategic link for a range of traffic movements for east/west journeys in the North of England and provides vital connections for freight and businesses in the regions.

The A66 carries high levels of freight traffic, accounting for 25% heavy goods vehicles (HGV’s) compared to the national average figure of 12%. The A66 is also an important route for tourism, providing access to the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Lake District National Park.

The A66 is essential to the continued development of the economy in the north of the country. Investigations are underway to examine the case for dualling the road and making other improvements along its length in order to support future local and national growth and development.


A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project provides the opportunity to:

  • improve journey times, reliability and resilience on the A66 between the junctions with the A1 and M6
  • improve strategic regional and national connectivity, particularly for freight and tourism
  • aim to reduce delays at the A66/A6 j unction
  • aim to reduce physical barriers for communities
  • aim to improve air quality and noise for those that live and work along the route
  • improve connectivity between key employment areas of Cumbria, Tees Valley and Tyne and Wear areas
  • improve connectivity for residents and workforce living and working in close proximity, and improve amenities for cyclists and pedestrians
  • improve access to key tourist destinations such as the North Pennines and the Lake District
  • contribute to the future economic growth of the north of England, supporting the growth envisaged by the Northern Powerhouse

Project media files and documents

There are no images for this project
There are no videos for this project

Project timeline

Planned roadworks

Roadworks and Events for England

The latest incident information for England's motorway and trunk routes provided by Highways England

Location : The A66 westbound between the junctions with the A1M and the A685 . Lane Closures : Lane two will be closed. Reason : Roadworks are planned. Status : Pending. Schedule : From 19:30 on 8 August 2020 to 05:00 on 9 August 2020. Lanes Closed : There will be one of two lanes closed.
Posted: August 7, 2020, 10:52 am


Breaking News: Traffic Information

Breaking News

The latest current breaking news items for England's motorway network

The M5 through the West Country is currently experiencing severe delays southbound.
Posted: August 8, 2020, 1:44 pm

Regional Twitter feed

Keep up-to-date

Sign up for updates
Please leave feedback