About the project
The A66 is a key local, regional and national route for east/west journeys in the north of England providing vital connections for freight, tourism and businesses across the UK.
DCO decision delayed until 7 March 2024
On Wednesday 8 November 2023, the Secretary of State for Transport extended the Development Consent Order decision for the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project.
The deadline for a decision to be made has been extended to 7 March 2024.
We remain confident in our proposals and we stand ready to deliver these improvements, subject to receiving a positive decision on the DCO and authorisation to proceed to construction.
You can find out more about the Secretary of State’s decision on the Planning Inspectorate's web page.
DCO examination ends and new project update
On 29 May, the DCO examination for the project ended.
Between 2019 and 2023, we have held a number of consultations with members of the public. The feedback we received has helped us shape our designs and I thank everyone for their engagement.
The Examining Authority now has three months to write their recommendation and submit it to the Secretary of State for Transport by the end of August.
We then await the Secretary of State’s decision in November. If the DCO is granted, then we will start work in 2024.
The A66 plays an important role in the life of nearby communities, connecting people to jobs, education, health, goods, holiday destinations and other essential services.
If approved, the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project will support the regional economy and make the road between Penrith and Scotch Corner safer and more reliable for the thousands of people who use it every day.
We've also produced a new spring 2023 project update so you know what we've been up to over the past few months.
Temporary closure of Wetheriggs Country Park
RSK Structural Soils Limited are working on behalf of us to carry out ground investigation surveys, which includes boreholes and trial pits.
A borehole is a narrow shaft bored in the ground, either vertically or horizontally. A borehole may be constructed for many different purposes, including a geotechnical investigation, or as a pilot hole for installing piers or underground utilities. Trial pits are dug before the construction. They are dug to determine the geology and to study the composition of the ground. Marked in yellow on the map below, metal trackway will be used to move vehicles.
The work will help us with the final design of the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project.
In order to carry out the work, we will need to intermittently close sections of the park between 9am and 6pm from 5 June to 9 June for no more than four hours each day. This is so vehicles and equipment can be transported across the park safely.
Between these dates, we will keep disturbance to a minimum and the remainder of the park will remain open during the work. We may need to move machinery through the park between the closure dates so please be aware whilst using the park. Fencing will be erected to guide pedestrians safely through the park at all times and we apologise for any inconvenience.
Examining Authority accept DCO change proposals
Following our consultation and hearings in January and February, we’ve received a decision on how many of our design change proposals to the Development Consent Order (DCO) have been accepted by the Examining Authority.
More than 400 people attended the four public information events held at locations across the route to have their say on the 32 proposed changes.
We received 184 responses from the public and stakeholders. Following feedback received, we carefully considered these responses and 24 of the 32 proposals were put forward to the Examining Authority for their consideration.
We received confirmation that the Examining Authority, who are leading the wider DCO examination, made the final decision to accept 22 of the 24 changes.
The two changes the Examining Authority are not taking forward into our DCO submission are:
DC-22 (Realignment of Warcop westbound junction)
DC-23 (Realignment of de-trunked A66 to be closer to new dual carriageway at Warcop)
Where can you find more information
Our change application has been uploaded to the Planning Inspectorate website page dedicated to the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project.
Interested parties can now submit any comments on the changes to the Examining Authority by Tuesday 9 May.
The A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project’s DCO examination will conclude on Monday 29 May with the Examining Authority making their report to the Secretary of State by Tuesday 29 August.
The project then awaits the Secretary of State’s decision in November. If the DCO is granted, then National Highways will start work in 2024.
Design consultation ends. Hearings begin
Our latest consultation ended on Monday 27 February. Thank you so much for getting involved and we are starting to review the feedback we received.
The second set of hearings, organised by the Planning Inspectorate, began on Wednesday 1 March and are set to end on Friday 3 March. You can find out more and watch a live stream of the hearings here.
DCO design change consultation
We are looking to make 32 changes to the design proposals in our planning application for the project. This means we have launched a public consultation from Saturday 28 January until 11.59pm on Monday 27 February.
We need to submit these changes to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration.
We are proposing to introduce these changes to the DCO application because we think they will benefit the final project.
We have continued to talk to landowners and stakeholders, and our delivery partners have identified a number of opportunities to improve our project.
These opportunities respond to feedback we have received, reduce the impact on the environment or reduce the amount of land we need to build the project.
You can access our online consultation material from 9am on Saturday 28 January on the link below.
Hard copies of the material can be found at the following deposit points:
Penrith Library, St Andrew’s Churchyard, Penrith, CA11 7YA (Telephone 01768 812100)
Monday, Tuesday 9.30am-6pm, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9.30am-5pm
The Witham, 3 Horse Market, Barnard Castle, DL12 8LY (Telephone 01833 631107) Tuesday to Saturday 10am-4pm.
Please phone the venue ahead to make sure they are open.
We are also holding the following drop-in events where members of the team will be on hand to talk to you about the changes:
Gilling West Village Hall, High St, Gilling West, Richmond, DL10 5JJ
30 January - 3pm-7pm
Kirkby Thore, Memorial Hall, Kirkby Thore, CA10 1UE
31 January - 3pm-7pm
Warcop Village Hall, Appleby-in-Westmorland, CA16 6NX
1 February - 3pm-7pm
Penrith Methodist Church, Wordsworth St, Penrith, CA11 7QY
6 February - 3pm-7pm
December 2022 project update
We've issued a December project update which includes information about the milestones we've reached over the last few months as well as what will be happening in 2023.
You can find out more here.
A66 NTP supplier contracts signed and DCO hearings announced
We've announced Balfour Beatty, Costain, Keltbray and Kier will be responsible for building the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project. The four suppliers will start construction in 2024 should the Secretary of State approve our planning application.
You can read more about it in our latest news section.
Meanwhile, the Planning Inspectorate has released dates for the Development Consent Order hearings. The preliminary hearing takes place on 29 November at The Witham in Barnard Castle.
Further details of hearings can be found on the web page, alongside the DCO process and expected timescales of when a DCO decision may be made.
Development Consent Order accepted
Our Development Consent Order (DCO) has been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) which means the project can move into the examination process.
To find out more about the DCO process and different stages, click here.
We've also produced an virtual environmental statement.
'Story so far' booklet
We've updated our story so far booklet which details the latest updates including the submission of our planning permission application on 21 June to the Planning Inspectorate.
Following our autumn 2021 consultation, we’ve further developed our designs. Since last year, some of our proposals have changed, in particular for the M6 junction 40 to Kemplay Bank, Temple Sowerby to Appleby, Appleby to Brough and Bowes Bypass schemes. This means we have directly contacted the local communities affected and have been carrying out a smaller, supplementary targeted consultation with them.
We are also carrying out a targeted consultation with impacted landowners and local authorities on a number of the smaller more localised changes.
We’ve produced our winter 2021/2022 update so you can find out the latest on the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project. You can find out more about what we've been working on since last year's consultation and details of the design changes.
We’ve also published our consultation summary report which gives details of our route wide September to November 2021 consultation. You’ll be able to read about how many people took part and the feedback we received on our developing designs.
Updated map books
Please see links below to our latest maps of the individual schemes.
These maps are provided to update landowners and other stakeholders on our latest design as we progress towards our Development Consent Order (DCO) submission in spring 2022.
The A66 plays an essential role for journeys across the north of England and provides the most direct route between the central belt of Scotland and the eastern side of England. The route connects cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh with Leeds, Sheffield and Norwich.
It’s a critical route for freight, providing links to a number of international ports like Stranraer, Hull and Felixstowe and connects holiday makers to their destination, whether that be in the Yorkshire Dales or Lake District.
The A66 plays an important role in the life of nearby communities, connecting people to jobs, education, health and other essential services.
But sections of the road aren’t up to modern standards. It repeatedly widens and narrows, making it prone to congestion and delay.
The route carries high levels of freight, with 25% of the traffic being heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), more than twice the national average for a road of this nature.
We’re proposing to deliver one billion pounds worth of investment to dual the remaining single carriageway sections along the 50 mile stretch of the A66 between Cumbria and North Yorkshire.
This is one of the largest and most important highways investments in the north of England, and will significantly improve journeys, safety and connectivity.
Visit our A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project feedback tool to have your say. The tool includes an interactive map. You can click on a location between Penrith and Scotch Corner to make a specific comment or give us your general feedback.
ECHO is a one-way feedback tool, so if you'd like a response to your feedback, you can email the project team at A66NTP@nationalhighways.co.uk