A PRESSURE group is pressing Westminster to come clean on the findings of a safety study on one of the region's most dangerous roads.

In 1998, the Government confirmed it would be researching the possibility of upgrading the A66 between Scotch Corner and Penrith.

But despite the findings of the research being due in July, they have still not been published. Consultants, Maunsell, began the research and drew up recommendations in 2000.

At first, it seemed local demands that the entire stretch of road should be upgraded to dual carriageway, would be ignored.

An interim report concluded the project would be expensive and hard to justify in terms of the number of lives saved.

However, when the A66 Completion Group was consulted on the findings, it remained adamant that the dual carriageway was the only answer.

The group, made up of members from the local authorities which administer North Yorkshire, Co Durham and Cumbria, was expecting the Government's final decision in early July.

However, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Transport, David Jamieson, has since indicated more work is needed an outcome is now expected in October.

"The White Paper, which announced there would be a safety study was published three years ago," said leading campaigner and North Yorkshire county councillor, Michael Heseltine.

"While it is vital the study comes up with the right answers, we believe enough time has elapsed for that to be done.

"It is important not only to publish the findings of this study as quickly as possible but to ensure all the bodies concerned work together to deliver the best solution in the shortest possible time-scale.

"The continued mixture of single and dual-carriageway along the broad creates problems for drivers. There is a mix of traffic along the road as well.

"It carries a very high percentage of goods vehicles, a lot of slow-moving local farm traffic and a lot of holiday traffic in the summer. It is a dangerous combination which has led to many fatalities and this road being labelled one of the most dangerous in the country," he claimed.