A DETAILED consultation to decide how to make the A66 from Scotch Corner to Cumbria a complete dual carriageway has been launched today by Transport Minister Chris Grayling.

Options for the £1 billion transformation of the key northern route, improving connections between the east and west of England, have been opened up to the public with 15 different options split across eight areas of the road.

Options for the transformation of a key northern route, improving connections between the east and west of England were unveiled by Highways England and Mr Grayling.

Calls for upgrading the road have been ongoing for about 20 years, especially at accident black spots such as the junction to Ravensworth, and Mr Grayling agreed the work was long overdue.

Senior project manger for Highways England, Matt Townsend, said: "We have put forward options for consultation on the different ways we can create dual carriageway in the remaining single carriageway sections.

"In the section at Stephen Bank to Carkin Moor, near Fox Hall Inn, Mainsgill Farm and the junctions to Ravensworth, there are three possible options to consider.

"The old sections of A66 can still be used as local access and farm vehicles, and the new sections of dual carriageway will ensure safer conditions for strategic traffic such as HGVs.

"Currently, traffic is 25 per cent HGV which is double the national standard."

Highways England's plans to fully dual the remaining single carriageway sections of the A66 covers a total 18 miles of the 50 mile route. This is the first opportunity for members of the public to get involved.

Mr Grayling was at Gilling West near Richmond to formally launch Highways England’s eight-week public consultation into options for completing the dualling of the key trans-Pennine route.

Mr Grayling said: “We are investing a record £13 billion to improve journeys across the North of England.

“Dualling the A66 will not only mean drivers’ journeys are quicker, safer and more reliable across the Pennines.

"This is long overdue and I consider it to be a priority. This is a beautiful part of the world and the work must be done sensitively.

"Campaigners have wanted improvements for many years but we are getting on with it now."

The public is now able to have their say on the re-designing of the junction with the A67 at Bowes; dualling the existing road between Cross Lanes and Rokeby with options for a short bypass of St Mary’s Church and Old Rectory at the eastern end of the 1.8 mile section; and dualling the existing four mile section between Stephen Bank and Carkin Moor but with three different options, including short bypasses.

The consultation will also offer opportunities to find out details about how each option will balance local access needs with the needs of trans-Pennine traffic.

The eight-week non-statutory consultation runs until Thursday, July 11

More information about the project is available at