A66 road

Last updated

UK road A66.svg
Traffic on the A66 road - geograph.org.uk - 1735922.jpg
Route information
Length115 mi (185 km)
Major junctions
From Workington
Major intersectionsUK road A595.svg A595
UK road A596.svg A596
UK road A5271.svg A5271
UK road A591.svg A591
UK road A592.svg A592
UK-Motorway-M6.svg M6
UK road A686.svg A686
UK road A685.svg A685
UK road A67.svg A67
UK road A6055.svg A6055
A1(M) (J53)
UK road A167.svg A167
UK road A1150.svg A1150
UK road A135.svg A135
UK road A1130.svg A1130
UK road A1032.svg A1032
UK road A178.svg A178
UK road A172.svg A172
UK road A171.svg A171
UK road A1085.svg A1085
UK road A1053.svg A1053
To Grangetown
Country United Kingdom
Keswick, Penrith, Brough, Scotch Corner, Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough
Road network
UK road A65.svg A65 UK road A67.svg A67

The A66 is a major road in Northern England, which in part follows the course of the Roman road from Scotch Corner to Penrith. [1] It runs from east of Middlesbrough in North Yorkshire to Workington in Cumbria. [2]



From its eastern terminus between Redcar and Middlesbrough it runs past Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington mainly as two-lane dual-carriageway and single carriageway past Darlington, becoming motorway standard as the A66(M) shortly before meeting junction 57 of the A1(M). It shares the A1(M) route south to Scotch Corner, from where it continues west across the Pennines, past Brough, Appleby, Kirkby Thore, Temple Sowerby and Penrith until it reaches Junction 40 of the M6 motorway at Skirsgill Interchange, where traffic going towards Western Scotland turns onto the northbound M6. The A66 continues past Blencathra to Keswick and Cockermouth and on through the northern reaches of the Lake District before arriving at the coastal town of Workington. There is a short stretch of dual carriageway along the northern part of Bassenthwaite Lake between Keswick and Cockermouth. Whilst the eastbound section follows the straight line of the disused Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway, the westbound section has numerous bends with climbs and dips. The westbound section was closed due to flood damage in December 2015 and when it re-opened in May 2016 had been permanently reduced to a single lane. This section has a 50-mile-per-hour (80 km/h) limit monitored by average speed cameras. [3]


When road numbers were first designated in the 1920s, [4] the A66 was assigned to the route between Penrith and Hull via Scotch Corner and York, mainly along former Roman roads. [5] Today's route largely follows the original route between Penrith and Scotch Corner. The historic route between Scotch Corner and Hull follows what is now today's A1, A168, B6265, A59 and A1079.

It is anomalously numbered since west of Penrith it trespasses into numbering zone 5; this is because it originally terminated at the A6 in Penrith but was extended further west in order to create one continuous east–west route. Most of what is now the A66 west of Penrith was originally A594 – only a small stub of this road numbering remains, from Maryport to Cockermouth.

Proposed developments

Trans-Pennine dualling

The middle 49.5 miles (79.7 km) section of the A66 between Scotch Corner on the A1(M) and Penrith on the M6 forms one of the key trans-Pennines trunk routes and has one of the worst road-safety records in the UK. Various bypasses and upgrades have been constructed since the early 1970s, giving the current mix of single and dual-carriageway sections. In 2002, after many years of local campaigning, the Transport Minister, John Spellar, gave support for the upgrading of the remaining single-carriageway sections by the Highways Agency. [6] The first three projects began construction in early 2006 and opened in 2007 [7] and 2008. The whole route between the A1(M) and M6 was due to be dualled by 2011, by which time the upgrade of the A1 to motorway status at Scotch Corner was planned to be complete.

After the construction of several sections commenced, it was announced that those schemes currently in the planning phase would not go ahead until 2016 at the earliest. The Highways Agency website states "Other than those already committed, the Regions did not identify any other major schemes for the A66 as high priorities to receive funding. This means that there is currently no likelihood of any additional major schemes on this route being funded within the next ten-year period. However the Regional Funding Allocation process will be reviewed in due course and this will give an opportunity for the Regions to revise their priorities."[ citation needed ]

In September 2015, the government said that £500,000 would be invested into the study of the two Trans-Pennine routes of the A66 and the A69. The proposal would be for one or even both roads to be dualled wholly between the A1/A1(M) and the M6. [8] The following year the government announced that the A66 would be dualled, but not the A69. [9] In March 2019, project director Matt Townsend from Highways England announced plans for a public consultation from May 2019, in which it would present its plans for a £500 million spend to complete dualling the Trans-Pennine section, together with improvements at the M6 and A1(M) interchanges. [10]

SectionStartEndSection Length (Miles)Dual-carriagewayNotes
M6-A6M6 J40A60.7Opened 1971
Penrith BypassA6Brougham1.5Opened 1971
Penrith-Temple SowerbyBroughamWinderwath2.8On hold
Temple Sowerby BypassWinderwathTemple Sowerby East2.6Opened 2007
Temple Sowerby-ApplebyTemple Sowerby EastCrackenthorpe4.4On hold
Appleby BypassCrackenthorpeCoupland3.7Opened by 1982
Warcop BypassCouplandBrough West4.4On hold
Brough BypassBrough WestBrough East2.0Opened 1977
Brough-StainmoreBrough EastStainmore1.0Opened 1994
Stainmore Bypass Stainmore Banks Gate2.4Opened 1992
Bowes MoorBanks GateBowes West8.7Opened 1993
Bowes BypassBowes WestBowes East1.1On hold
Boldron BypassBowes EastCross Lanes2.5Opened by 1983
Cross Lanes-Greta BridgeCross LanesGreta Bridge West1.6On hold
Greta Bridge BypassGreta Bridge WestGreta Bridge East1.5Opened 1980
Greta Bridge-Stephen BankGreta Bridge EastStephen Bank2.3Opened 2008
Stephen Bank-Carkin MoorStephen BankCarkin Moor2.5On hold
Carkin Moor-Scotch Corner (A1 M)Carkin MoorScotch Corner (A1 M)3.8Opened 2007 [5]

Additionally, a plan to create a second crossing of the River Tees near for traffic on the congested A19 road, would see the widening of the A66 between Teesside Park and the Tees Viaduct interchange. [11] [12]


The section of road between Scotch Corner and Penrith accounted for 70 deaths over ten years up until 2002, which was above the national average for single lane carriageways. [6] Whilst the number of accidents was in line with the national average, the number of serious injuries and deaths was twice the national average; this high attrition rate was the reason for the go-ahead for the new dualled sections on the grounds of safety. [13]

Snow gates were installed on the road between Bowes and Brough. [14] This section is the moorland route over Stainmore summit which reaches a height of 1450 feet (441 metres) is prone to heavy snow in the winter. [15] Both sets of gates have turnaround facilities to allow all traffic to change direction.

Accidents and incidents


UK-Motorway-A66 (M).svg
Route information
Maintained by Highways England
Length2.0 mi (3.2 km)
Major junctions
From Cleasby
Major intersections UK-Motorway-A1 (M).svg
A1(M) motorway
To Stapleton
Country United Kingdom
Road network
UK-Motorway-A64 (M).svg A64(M) UK-Motorway-A74 (M).svg A74(M)

The A66(M) is a spur from the A1(M) at Junction 57. It was opened in 1965 along with the A1(M) as part of the Darlington by-pass motorway. [17] It can be accessed only by northbound traffic on the A1(M) and has an exit to this route southbound only.


A66(M) motorway junctions
Westbound exits (B carriageway)JunctionEastbound exits (A carriageway)
The South, Scotch Corner A1(M)A1A1(M), J57Start of motorway
Start of motorwayTerminusDarlington A66
Stapleton, Barton

Related Research Articles

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A595 road Road in Cumbria, England

The A595 is a primary route in Cumbria, in Northern England that starts in Carlisle, passes through Whitehaven and goes close to Workington, Cockermouth and Wigton. It passes Sellafield and Ravenglass before ending at the Dalton-in-Furness by-pass, in southern Cumbria, where it joins the A590 trunk road. The road is mostly single carriageway, apart from in central Carlisle, where it passes the castle as a busy dual carriageway road named Castle Way, and prior to that as Bridge Street and Church Street, where it passes close to the McVitie's or Carr's biscuit factory. The Lillyhall bypass is also dual carriageway.

Bassenthwaite Lake Large lake in the United Kingdom

Bassenthwaite Lake is one of the largest water bodies in the English Lake District. It is long and narrow, approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) long and 0.75 miles (1 km) wide, but is also extremely shallow, with a maximum depth of about 70 ft (21 m).

Scotch Corner is a junction of the A1(M) and A66 trunk roads near Richmond in North Yorkshire, England. It has been described as "the modern gateway to Cumbria, the North East and Scotland", and is a primary destination signed from as far away as the M6 motorway, 50 miles away. The junction's name is derived from the fact that it is the point of divergence for traffic coming from London, the East Midlands and Yorkshire wishing to continue either to Edinburgh and eastern Scotland or to Glasgow and western Scotland.

A580 road Road in England

The A580 is the United Kingdom's first purpose-built inter-city highway. The road, which remains a primary A road, was officially opened by King George V on 18 July 1934. It links Liverpool to Salford, 3 miles west of Manchester city centre.

A1(M) motorway 4 separate motorway sections in England

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The Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway (CK&PR) was an English railway company incorporated by Act of Parliament on 1 August 1861, to build a line connecting the town of Cockermouth with the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) West Coast Main Line at Penrith. Arrangements for the use of the stations at either end were included. Passenger and goods traffic was worked by the LNWR and mineral traffic by the North Eastern Railway, both of whom had shares in the company. The line was 31+12 miles (50.7 km) in length, and had eight intermediate stations.

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A5117 road

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Dubwath Human settlement in England

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On Monday, 24 May 2010, a Honda Civic collided with a coach carrying children home from Keswick School on the A66 road in Cumbria, United Kingdom. Three people were killed and four were left seriously injured. Approximately thirty people sustained less severe injuries. The accident occurred very near Keswick in an accident hotspot.


  1. Map of Roman Roads in Britain
  2. "A66 - Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki". www.sabre-roads.org.uk. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  3. "Safety Cameras to Improve A66 Safety" (Press Release). Highways Agency. 2 February 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  4. "Guidance on Road Classification and the Primary Route Network" (PDF). UK HMG. p. 3. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  5. 1 2 "A66 Carkin Moor to Scotch Corner Improvement - One Year After Study" (PDF). Highways Agency. p. 8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  6. 1 2 "Environment warning over road plan". BBC. 23 August 2002. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  7. "CBRD » Road Schemes » A66 Dualling Scotch Corner - Stephen Bank". www.cbrd.co.uk. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  8. "Northern Powerhouse study to look at dualling whole of A66 and A69". nechronicle. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  9. Michael Muncaster (23 November 2016). "Why are plans to dual the A66 over the A69 going ahead? We look at what impact it will have". Evening Chronicle . Newcastle.
  10. Graeme Hetherington (7 March 2019). "Consultation due to start in May on A66 changes". The Northern Echo . Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  11. "Plans revealed to reduce crossing pressure". BBC News. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  12. Nolan, Laura (22 May 2020). "£24m committed to Tees Crossing". Darlington & Stockton Times. No. 21–2020. p. 5. ISSN   2516-5348.
  13. "Carkin Moor to Scotch Corner Improvement - One Year After Study" (PDF). Highways Agency. p. 23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  14. "Cumbria's A66 route has snow gates installed". BBC News. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  15. "Hundreds trapped in A66 snow chaos". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  16. "Three killed in school bus crash in Cumbria". BBC News. BBC. 24 May 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  17. "The Motorway Archive – A1(M) & A66(M) The Darlington By-Pass motorway Dates Page". Archived from the original on 14 March 2007. Retrieved 14 October 2006.

Coordinates: 54°31′49″N2°15′35″W / 54.53021°N 2.25971°W / 54.53021; -2.25971