14 Jun 2023
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A once in a lifetime project to improve safety, boost the local economy, and connect communities across the north has moved a step closer.
The A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project’s DCO (Development Consent Order) examination has come to an end.
The DCO examination period ended last month, paving the way for the Examining Authority to make their recommendation to the Secretary of State by Tuesday 29 August.
A decision from the Secretary of State is then expected by the end of November.
Should the DCO be accepted, National Highways will start construction work in 2024.
Lee Hillyard, National Highways’ A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project director, said:
“There is a huge desire from the public, stakeholders and business owners to see changes being made to such a key part of our network that connects the north west and the north east.
“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.
“Sadly, there are currently far too many accidents on the road which can close it for a long time. By dualling the 18 miles of single carriageway, we can make journeys safer and more reliable.
“Between 2019 and 2023, we have held a number of consultations and public information events across the route with members of the public. Their feedback has helped us shape our designs and I thank everyone for their engagement.
“I am extremely grateful to the stakeholders and communities who have played a vital role in getting this project to the stage it is at today.
“We will continue to develop our detailed designs and will work with stakeholders, local businesses and landowners where appropriate, and I look forward to hearing the decision from the Secretary of State later this year.”
The A66 is a key local, regional and national route for journeys in the north of England providing vital connections for freight, tourism and businesses across the UK.
National Highways will be improving the 50-mile stretch of road between the M6 at Penrith and A1(M) at Scotch Corner.
The project, if given the go-ahead, will involve upgrading 18 miles of single carriageway sections of road to dual carriageway and making improvements to the junctions along the route.