The government has announced plans to provide £135m to help progress the £771m A66 TransPennine upgrade.
The funding, revealed in today’s Budget announcement, will help kickstart work on the scheme and accelerate the start of construction to 2024.
Budget documents said: “This builds on the Spending Review 2020 announcement that the construction phase will be halved from 10 to five years as part of Project Speed.”
Highways England published an update on the road scheme in January, outlining progress with surveys and investigations to allow further consultation and engagement prior to an application for a development consent order.
The job was assigned a £1bn value by the government when announced last year but was valued at £771m in a prior information notice released last August.
When complete, the road will link the A1(M) J53 at Scotch Corner with the M6 J40 at Penrith by upgrading its single carriageway parts to a dual carriageway as well as making “other improvements” along its length. The project will also enhance capacity at the junctions either end – the A1(M) J53 Scotch Corner and M6 J40 Penrith/Kemplay Bank.
The road carries a high level of freight traffic, which accounts for a quarter of vehicles on the road, compared to only 12 per cent nationally.