A £30 billion roads plan to improve transport links in northern England over the next 30 years has been rubber-stamped by the government, with a fully dual-carriageway A66 from Scotch Corner to Penrith a priority.
The 50-mile road is an infamous bottleneck and top of the list of road projects being pushed by Transport for the North (TfN).
The A66 dualling is tipped to go into the next Highways England Road Investment Strategy (RIS2), which will be finalised later this year and run for five years at a cost of £30 billion.
“We could possibly make a start on the A66 in RIS2,” said TfN’s road director, Peter Molyneux. “The north only has one east-west dual carriageway and we really need to improve links across the region.”
Post-Brexit strategic thinking suggests that Britain will need much better road and rail links to the ports to reduce time lost to traffic jams, if only to compensate for custom delays. Speedier transit times across the Pennines would also benefit trade with Scottish ports, which could become more important after Brexit.