CONSULTATION on significant changes to the A66 are due to start in May.

Highways England is looking to invest more than half a billion pounds on the route through Cumbria, Durham and North Yorkshire.

The organisation is now developing plans to fully dual the remaining six single carriageway sections, which total 18 miles of the complete 50 mile route, in addition to junction improvements to the M6, junction 40 at Penrith and the A1(M) at Scotch Corner.

While discussions have been ongoing with county councils, local councils, businesses, haulage firms, emergency services and other stakeholders, this is the first opportunity for the public to get involved with an eight-week non-statutory consultation between Tuesday, May 14 and Tuesday, July 9.

Highways England's senior project manager Matt Townsend said: “Although the start of construction is still a number of years away, this first non-statutory consultation is a significant milestone. We’ll be presenting different options for dualling the six remaining single lane sections of the A66 and our improvement plans for Kemplay Bank roundabout to get the public’s views on what might be the preferable options.

“We want residents, trans-Pennine commuters, pedestrians, cyclists, businesses, land owners – anyone with an opinion or local knowledge – to get involved in this non-statutory consultation and help us shape this vital investment in the economy of the north.”

Details of the route options will be unveiled ahead of the consultation and a number of public information exhibitions will take place in the various communities served by the A66 allowing local people the opportunity to find out more and meet the team delivering this major project.

More information about the project – including a sign-up link for regular email updates – is available at: