Upgrading the A66 and A69

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Glenn A
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by Glenn A » Sun Jul 11, 2021 18:34

Kemplay Bank roundabout( A686/66/6) is to be replaced some time during this decade, with the A66 going under the roundabout, which will remove the queues and near misses at the traffic lights.
Also in Hexham last week, and the Bridge End Roundabout is progressing well. This will remove delays at the current roundabout by removing long distance traffic and make getting into and out of Hexham on the A6079 a lot easier. Of course, Bridge End was planned with the A69 going underneath, but the recession and government cutbacks intervened in 1975-76.

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jackal
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by jackal » Mon Aug 09, 2021 17:40

The planning application for the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine scheme is expected in the Spring.

There had been a bit of a mystery about the planned improvements at M6 J40 and Scotch Corner. This is clarified by the scoping report.

J40: "This scheme would provide a three-lane circulatory carriageway with spiral markings on the current roundabout. The A66 eastern arm of the roundabout would be widened to three lanes in each direction between M6 Junction 40 and Kemplay Bank Roundabout. Widening would be required on the following five approach arms to provide additional lanes and a dedicated left turn facility, each controlled under its own signal phase: M6 North, M6 South, A66 East, A66 West, and A592 Ullswater Road".

Scotch Corner: "The only component of this scheme at this location is the widening of the Middleton Tyas Lane approach to the A1(M) Junction 53 at Scotch Corner roundabout, from one lane to two lanes".

There are different routing and junction options for parts of the rest of the route, shown in these slightly vague plans:

https://infrastructure.planninginspecto ... r%202).pdf

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wrinkly
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by wrinkly » Mon Aug 09, 2021 18:27

jackal wrote:
Mon Aug 09, 2021 17:40
Scotch Corner: "The only component of this scheme at this location is the widening of the Middleton Tyas Lane approach to the A1(M) Junction 53 at Scotch Corner roundabout, from one lane to two lanes".
I've wondered for some time whether it might be a good idea to extend the roundabout eastwards, to allow the service area and MT Lane to become two separate entries to the roundabout.

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wrinkly
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by wrinkly » Sat Sep 25, 2021 00:19

A66 consultation now open:

https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.co ... sultation/

Three points noticed so far:

1) The new GSJ with the A6 extends a considerable way west towards M6 J40, and the A66 weaving section between the two junctions will have a third lane on each carriageway.

2) The existing A6 roundabout is essentially underpassed in situ rather than being altered in shape, size or location.

3) The existing overbridge at Bowes (Clint Lane) forms a pinch point (currently 2 lanes eastbound with one of these turning off for the A67; 1 lane westbound; carriageways at slightly different levels). It appears from the relevant flythrough video that they can fit 2 possibly full-width lanes each way under the bridge, with greatly narrowed central reservation and greatly narrowed or abolished marginal strips.

Edit: just noticed that the consultation brochure says this on p.78:
Further design work is required to be undertaken on the Clint Lane Bridge structure in order to retain the existing structure in-situ. The design team are currently progressing this and will potentially need to consider alternatives following statutory consultation

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by ABB125 » Sat Sep 25, 2021 16:11

Good to see that
The existing layout is considered to have sufficient capacity to accommodate future traffic growth. As such we will only need to provide additional lane widening on the Middleton Tyas Lane approach to the roundabout, with some revisions to the road markings on the roundabout.
at Scotch Corner.
Meanwhile, in Penrith:
Widen each of the roads approaching M6 junction 40 (M6 North, M6 South, A66 East, A66 West and A592) to provide additional lanes and a dedicated left turn; each arm would be controlled using traffic signals
Who'd have guessed this might be the preferred "upgrade" of the M6/A1(M) junctions? :roll: :roll:

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by KeithW » Sat Sep 25, 2021 17:14

What I have seen so far is very encouraging. Not only are the junctions grade separated but there seems to be good provision of accommodation bridges and underpasses for minor roads, farm access roads and bridle paths. At the end of the Bowes bypass the contrast between the flat junctions of the existing D2 and the new road is glaring.

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Big Nick
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by Big Nick » Sat Sep 25, 2021 19:41

This reminds me. The Llama Karma Kafe just outside Penrith has closed. https://www.llamakarmakafe.co.uk/
It has to be said that this is located on one of the stretches that is due for improvement. The cafe (or Kafe!) would probably close anyway.

I drove past on 6th September and saw them putting the signs up for an 'A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Improvement Hub'. I'm not sure if this is now a place to visit to see the plans or just an office for the roadworks team. If anyone is in the area maybe they could pull over and find out.


On the way home that Friday I stopped at Brougham Castle for a few hours, escaping the tailback on the A66 East. The lovely lady in the shop told me the A66 there is rammed every Friday and Monday because of all the people going to or from CentreParcs. It is not very popular locally because of that.
She directed me to take the Wetheriggs Road via Cliburn and Bolton which was straight, empty and nice to drive. I should have done a right in Bolton to Colby and Appleby. As it was I had to wait 5 minutes to get onto the A66 before somebody kindly let me out.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by mikehindsonevans » Sat Sep 25, 2021 22:37

We have used this route over the past week, both ways between Glasgow and Whitby.

The existing dual carriageway sections worked fine - eastbound on Saturday 18th and westbound on Friday afternoon 24th - but the single carriageway stretches all ground to a halt.

More worryingly, we noticed as we went around the Penrith junction to join the M6 northbound yesterday afternoon that the traffic leaving the M6SB to head east was already tailing back onto the off-ramp from the first roundabout half a mile down the A66.

GSJs all round, methinks!
Mike Hindson-Evans.
Never argue with a conspiracy theorist.
They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

KeithW
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by KeithW » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:50

mikehindsonevans wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 22:37
We have used this route over the past week, both ways between Glasgow and Whitby.

The existing dual carriageway sections worked fine - eastbound on Saturday 18th and westbound on Friday afternoon 24th - but the single carriageway stretches all ground to a halt.

More worryingly, we noticed as we went around the Penrith junction to join the M6 northbound yesterday afternoon that the traffic leaving the M6SB to head east was already tailing back onto the off-ramp from the first roundabout half a mile down the A66.

GSJs all round, methinks!
Looking at the consultation video that is getting an underpass.

Glenn A
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by Glenn A » Sun Sep 26, 2021 14:41

The S2 sections are winding around Warcop and subject to a 50 mph speed limit. Then there's the pathetic section through Kirby Thore, with its 40 mph limit and frequent delays( I was stuck here for 20 minutes for some unknown reason in July).

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wrinkly
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by wrinkly » Mon Sep 27, 2021 00:21

The video of Penrith to Temple Sowerby is very realistic - at around 2:40 it shows a direction sign obscured by trees.

Furthermore this is just when a caption appears saying "We'll be planting trees along the scheme helping to mitigate intrusive views".

Fluid Dynamics
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by Fluid Dynamics » Mon Sep 27, 2021 13:01

wrinkly wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 00:21
The video of Penrith to Temple Sowerby is very realistic - at around 2:40 it shows a direction sign obscured by trees.

Furthermore this is just when a caption appears saying "We'll be planting trees along the scheme helping to mitigate intrusive views".
Yes I noticed that. This kind of thing happens, although not normally built in :rofl: .

The videos where very realistic, although I did also noticed the end of a slip road disappeared ended abruptly at a right angle at one junction.

The proposals looked well designed, M6 junction excluded. Surprised (positively) at the length of some of the local access road especially where it formed a third carriageway under/over structures.

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solocle
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by solocle » Mon Sep 27, 2021 13:39

Fluid Dynamics wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 13:01
wrinkly wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 00:21
The video of Penrith to Temple Sowerby is very realistic - at around 2:40 it shows a direction sign obscured by trees.

Furthermore this is just when a caption appears saying "We'll be planting trees along the scheme helping to mitigate intrusive views".
Yes I noticed that. This kind of thing happens, although not normally built in :rofl: .

The videos where very realistic, although I did also noticed the end of a slip road disappeared ended abruptly at a right angle at one junction.

The proposals looked well designed, M6 junction excluded. Surprised (positively) at the length of some of the local access road especially where it formed a third carriageway under/over structures.
Unfortunately it's incomplete.
My Response wrote: M6 junction 40 to Kemplay Bank

Please provide your comments on the M6 junction 40 to Kemplay Bank proposal.:

The number of controlled crossings (4!) to continue following the A66 will encourage cyclists to use the carriageway instead, or otherwise be extremely slow. Providing a cycleway all the way around the interior of the roundabout would reduce the number of required crossings to two.

Please provide your comments on the Penrith to Temple Sowerby proposal.:

Horribly inadequate for cycling. The Lake District is a stunning destination for cyclists. When I visited, the natural route was to followe the B5320, then the Brougham Road. This meant cycling on the A66 for 1.7 miles, which was horrifying enough. A full expressway-style dual carriageway would be something else again, with the only merit being that a right turn would be no longer necessary.
Providing a high quality cycleway to the Brougham Road would significantly improve connections to the Lake District, and a tiny bit of extra work would connect with Carleton Road, providing a low traffic route into Penrith.
I'm not happy about the 23% increase in journey distance that is required to take the back roads from Center Parcs to Temple Sowerby (1.6 mi vs 1.3 mi). While this is admittedly minor, and following the A66 remains an option, a dualled A66 is more hostile than the status quo - and currently navigating from Cilburn Road, there's a cycle sign towards Penrith, which would actively encourage people to use the new dual carriageway (and adds even more distance to avoid it, as you have to double back to the underpass. A direct cycleway on the north side of the A66 would aleviate the worst of this.

Temple Sowerby to Appleby – Kirkby Thore
14 Do you agree with our preferred alignment for this scheme?
Yes
Please provide any information that supports your answer above.:

Please share any additional comments you may have on the Temple Sowerby to Appleby – Kirkby Thore proposal.:

Needs access from Priest Lane (the bypassed former A66 in Temple Sowerby) to the current A66 that will be bypassed by the proposal, for NMUs, via the underbridge proposed. This then needs being connected to the B6542 at Appleby is welcome.

Temple Sowerby to Appleby – Crackenthorpe

Please provide your comments on the Temple Sowerby to Appleby-Crackenthorpe proposal.:

Appleby to Brough
17 Do you agree with the preferred alignment for this scheme?
No preference
Please provide any information that supports your answer above.:

Please share any additional comments you may have on the Appleby to Brough proposal.:

NMU provision along this corridor is critical.
From the B6259 Sandford Junction to Brough is 5.3 miles via Musgrave Lane, vs 4.2 miles via the existing A66, a 26% increase. Regarding hill climb, an important metric to cycle journeys, these routes are respectively 200 ft and 140 ft, a 43% increase.
There are zero alternatives to the A66 to get to the B6259 from Appleby.
To get from Appleby to Brough via the A66 currently is 8.1 miles, with 240 ft climb. To avoid a dualled A66 as proposed would require a route via Burrells and the Musgraves, a distance of 11.4 miles, with 610 ft of climbing.
This is a 40% increase in distance, and a 250% increase in elevation gain. Utterly unacceptable!
An absolute minimum to mitigate the negative impact on NMUs would be to provide a mere 1.6 miles of high quality cycleway between the B6542 and B6259 on the south side of the A66. However a slightly greater distance of <2.3 miles on the north side would integrate with the existing A66, thus providing a substantially better route.

Bowes Bypass
Please provide your comments on the Bowes Bypass proposal.:

Cross Lanes to Rokeby
20 Do you agree with the preferred junction at Cross Lanes?
No preference
21 Do you agree with the preferred junction at Rokeby?
Yes
22 Please provide any information that supports your answers above.
Please provide any information that supports your answers above.:
Cycle provision around the Rokeby junction could be reasonable, depending on design standard.
23 Please share any additional comments you may have on the Cross Lanes toRokeby proposal. Please share any additional comments you may have on the Cross Lanes to Rokeby proposal.: Stephen Bank to Carkin Moor
24 Please provide your comments on the Stephen Bank to Carkin Moor proposal.
Please provide your comments on the Stephen Bank to Carkin Moor proposal.:
A1(M) junction 53 Scotch Corner
25 Please provide your comments on the A1(M) junction 53 Scotch Corner proposal.
Please provide your comments on the A1(M) junction 53 Scotch Corner proposal.:

General questions
26 To what extent do you agree with dualling the remaining single carriageway sections of the A66?

Oppose

Please provide any additional comments you may have to support your response to the above question:

Without cycle provision between Brough and Bowes, the only reasonable trans-pennine route for miles (and even the nearest involve far more climbing), the removal of all the single carriageway bottlenecks will increase road capacity above that of a single carriageway.
The outcome of this will be meaning that the traffic passing any cyclist using the road will be unable to fit into Lane 2, beyond even traffic bunching that will already occur.
This will turn the road from being downright unpleasant to outright murderous for any NMUs using it, and thus it needs a complete, integrated, and convenient NMU alternative for the full length, which in practice means the changes I suggested earlier, and from Brough to Scotch Corner, but particularly as far as Bowes, as at least then there is the A67.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by KeithW » Mon Sep 27, 2021 14:21

I see that Moto want to upgrade both the Scotch Corner and Barton Truck Stop to full linked motorway service areas. The plan is Barton will be considerably upgraded to be able to handled cars, HGV's and Caravans while Scotch Corner Services will handle cars, coaches and motor cycles. Both would be signed appropriately from the motorway. Since the entrance to Barton is off the A6055 it would be usable by cyclists who could continue down Kneeton Lane to pick up the A66 at Scotch Corner or head south on the LAR through Catterick and Boroughbridge

https://www.richmondshiretoday.co.uk/up ... s-planned/

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by KeithW » Mon Sep 27, 2021 14:35

solocle wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 13:39

Unfortunately it's incomplete.
M6 junction 40 to Kemplay Bank
I recommend looking at the detailed proposals here.
https://highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/ ... in-detail/

For example the following sections you mention

Brough to Bowes
In this section of the upgraded A66 we are proposing to improve the junction with the A67.

A67 junction
The existing junction to the A67 does not provide eastbound access to the A66 from the A67, or allow for exit from the westbound carriageway of the A66.

The A67 junction will remain, with the existing bridge taking the A66 over the A67 being extended to the north to accommodate the new lanes. However, we are proposing new/improved merge and diverge lanes for the carriageways in both directions. This will provide better connection to Barnard Castle for road users.

Access to Bowes via The Street will be removed and replaced with the upgraded A67 junction. This will improve the connectivity between the A66 and A67 and avoid the need for strategic traffic to travel through the village of Bowes.

This route will still not permit HGV access into Barnard Castle due to the weight restriction on the bridge over the River Tees. HGVs will continue to access Barnard Castle via the A66 at Rokeby.
Cross Lanes to Rokeby
In this section of the upgraded A66 we are proposing two new junctions.

Cross Lanes junction
In order to improve the safety of the A66, we are proposing to remove the existing junctions which provide access to the B6277, Moorhouse Lane and Cross Lanes Organic Farm. The removal of these junctions will avoid the need for right turn manoeuvres.

Access to these roads will instead be via a new overbridge and road connecting the B6277 and Moorhouse Lane, with new slip roads connecting into this new road which will allow users to safely join and leave the A66 in both directions.

Rokeby junction
The existing junction between Barnard Castle Road and the A66 would be removed to improve safety by eliminating right turn manoeuvres.

We are proposing to provide a new junction to the west of St Mary’s Church, giving access to the existing A66 and Rokeby. The junction will cross above the A66 via a new overbridge.

New merge and diverge lanes will be provided which will allow users to safely join and leave the A66 in both directions.

Following the completion of the new A66 alignment south of The Old Rectory and St Mary’s Church, the existing A66 will be detrunked between the new junction and Barnard Castle Road to maintain access to properties and the existing HGV route to Barnard Castle.
Maps are also included in this document.

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wrinkly
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by wrinkly » Mon Sep 27, 2021 14:47

Solocle, could you have perhaps have strengthened your case by mentioning the need for horse and cart access to Appleby for the horse fair?

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by Fluid Dynamics » Mon Sep 27, 2021 14:52

solocle wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 13:39
Fluid Dynamics wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 13:01
wrinkly wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 00:21
The video of Penrith to Temple Sowerby is very realistic - at around 2:40 it shows a direction sign obscured by trees.

Furthermore this is just when a caption appears saying "We'll be planting trees along the scheme helping to mitigate intrusive views".
Yes I noticed that. This kind of thing happens, although not normally built in :rofl: .

The videos where very realistic, although I did also noticed the end of a slip road disappeared ended abruptly at a right angle at one junction.

The proposals looked well designed, M6 junction excluded. Surprised (positively) at the length of some of the local access road especially where it formed a third carriageway under/over structures.
Unfortunately it's incomplete.
My Response wrote: M6 junction 40 to Kemplay Bank

Please provide your comments on the M6 junction 40 to Kemplay Bank proposal.:

The number of controlled crossings (4!) to continue following the A66 will encourage cyclists to use the carriageway instead, or otherwise be extremely slow. Providing a cycleway all the way around the interior of the roundabout would reduce the number of required crossings to two.

Please provide your comments on the Penrith to Temple Sowerby proposal.:

Horribly inadequate for cycling. The Lake District is a stunning destination for cyclists. When I visited, the natural route was to followe the B5320, then the Brougham Road. This meant cycling on the A66 for 1.7 miles, which was horrifying enough. A full expressway-style dual carriageway would be something else again, with the only merit being that a right turn would be no longer necessary.
Providing a high quality cycleway to the Brougham Road would significantly improve connections to the Lake District, and a tiny bit of extra work would connect with Carleton Road, providing a low traffic route into Penrith.
I'm not happy about the 23% increase in journey distance that is required to take the back roads from Center Parcs to Temple Sowerby (1.6 mi vs 1.3 mi). While this is admittedly minor, and following the A66 remains an option, a dualled A66 is more hostile than the status quo - and currently navigating from Cilburn Road, there's a cycle sign towards Penrith, which would actively encourage people to use the new dual carriageway (and adds even more distance to avoid it, as you have to double back to the underpass. A direct cycleway on the north side of the A66 would aleviate the worst of this.

Temple Sowerby to Appleby – Kirkby Thore
14 Do you agree with our preferred alignment for this scheme?
Yes
Please provide any information that supports your answer above.:

Please share any additional comments you may have on the Temple Sowerby to Appleby – Kirkby Thore proposal.:

Needs access from Priest Lane (the bypassed former A66 in Temple Sowerby) to the current A66 that will be bypassed by the proposal, for NMUs, via the underbridge proposed. This then needs being connected to the B6542 at Appleby is welcome.

Temple Sowerby to Appleby – Crackenthorpe

Please provide your comments on the Temple Sowerby to Appleby-Crackenthorpe proposal.:

Appleby to Brough
17 Do you agree with the preferred alignment for this scheme?
No preference
Please provide any information that supports your answer above.:

Please share any additional comments you may have on the Appleby to Brough proposal.:

NMU provision along this corridor is critical.
From the B6259 Sandford Junction to Brough is 5.3 miles via Musgrave Lane, vs 4.2 miles via the existing A66, a 26% increase. Regarding hill climb, an important metric to cycle journeys, these routes are respectively 200 ft and 140 ft, a 43% increase.
There are zero alternatives to the A66 to get to the B6259 from Appleby.
To get from Appleby to Brough via the A66 currently is 8.1 miles, with 240 ft climb. To avoid a dualled A66 as proposed would require a route via Burrells and the Musgraves, a distance of 11.4 miles, with 610 ft of climbing.
This is a 40% increase in distance, and a 250% increase in elevation gain. Utterly unacceptable!
An absolute minimum to mitigate the negative impact on NMUs would be to provide a mere 1.6 miles of high quality cycleway between the B6542 and B6259 on the south side of the A66. However a slightly greater distance of <2.3 miles on the north side would integrate with the existing A66, thus providing a substantially better route.

Bowes Bypass
Please provide your comments on the Bowes Bypass proposal.:

Cross Lanes to Rokeby
20 Do you agree with the preferred junction at Cross Lanes?
No preference
21 Do you agree with the preferred junction at Rokeby?
Yes
22 Please provide any information that supports your answers above.
Please provide any information that supports your answers above.:
Cycle provision around the Rokeby junction could be reasonable, depending on design standard.
23 Please share any additional comments you may have on the Cross Lanes toRokeby proposal. Please share any additional comments you may have on the Cross Lanes to Rokeby proposal.: Stephen Bank to Carkin Moor
24 Please provide your comments on the Stephen Bank to Carkin Moor proposal.
Please provide your comments on the Stephen Bank to Carkin Moor proposal.:
A1(M) junction 53 Scotch Corner
25 Please provide your comments on the A1(M) junction 53 Scotch Corner proposal.
Please provide your comments on the A1(M) junction 53 Scotch Corner proposal.:

General questions
26 To what extent do you agree with dualling the remaining single carriageway sections of the A66?

Oppose

Please provide any additional comments you may have to support your response to the above question:

Without cycle provision between Brough and Bowes, the only reasonable trans-pennine route for miles (and even the nearest involve far more climbing), the removal of all the single carriageway bottlenecks will increase road capacity above that of a single carriageway.
The outcome of this will be meaning that the traffic passing any cyclist using the road will be unable to fit into Lane 2, beyond even traffic bunching that will already occur.
This will turn the road from being downright unpleasant to outright murderous for any NMUs using it, and thus it needs a complete, integrated, and convenient NMU alternative for the full length, which in practice means the changes I suggested earlier, and from Brough to Scotch Corner, but particularly as far as Bowes, as at least then there is the A67.
I didn’t realise that’s the case, and if it is that’s a real shame. Having in the past cycled along busy dual carriageway trunk roads that don’t have proper NMU provision (A27 and A3) stick in my mind, I understand the points you make. Considering the NMU infrastructure elsewhere this does seem a little strange.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by KeithW » Mon Sep 27, 2021 16:40

Fluid Dynamics wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 14:52
solocle wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 13:39
Without cycle provision between Brough and Bowes, the only reasonable trans-pennine route for miles (and even the nearest involve far more climbing), the removal of all the single carriageway bottlenecks will increase road capacity above that of a single carriageway.
The outcome of this will be meaning that the traffic passing any cyclist using the road will be unable to fit into Lane 2, beyond even traffic bunching that will already occur.
This will turn the road from being downright unpleasant to outright murderous for any NMUs using it, and thus it needs a complete, integrated, and convenient NMU alternative for the full length, which in practice means the changes I suggested earlier, and from Brough to Scotch Corner, but particularly as far as Bowes, as at least then there is the A67.

I didn’t realise that’s the case, and if it is that’s a real shame. Having in the past cycled along busy dual carriageway trunk roads that don’t have proper NMU provision (A27 and A3) stick in my mind, I understand the points you make. Considering the NMU infrastructure elsewhere this does seem a little strange.
To be fair most of the road between Brough and Bowes has been D2 for many years with sections opening as follows

Brough Bypass 2.0 miles Opened 1977
Brough-Stainmore 1.0 miles Opened 1994
Stainmore Bypass 2.4 Opened 1992
Bowes Moor 8.7 miles Opened 1993

The only new bit is the Bowes bypass and that DOES include NMU access via the existing A66. It is not normal practise to redo existing sections of D2 when extra S2 sections are upgraded and that was not in the scope of the project proposal.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by solocle » Mon Sep 27, 2021 18:27

wrinkly wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 14:47
Solocle, could you have perhaps have strengthened your case by mentioning the need for horse and cart access to Appleby for the horse fair?
I'm not local, I think the only time I've been to Appleby was earlier this month (cycling LEJOG). So I wasn't aware of the horse fair.
KeithW wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 16:40
Fluid Dynamics wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 14:52
solocle wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 13:39
Without cycle provision between Brough and Bowes, the only reasonable trans-pennine route for miles (and even the nearest involve far more climbing), the removal of all the single carriageway bottlenecks will increase road capacity above that of a single carriageway.
The outcome of this will be meaning that the traffic passing any cyclist using the road will be unable to fit into Lane 2, beyond even traffic bunching that will already occur.
This will turn the road from being downright unpleasant to outright murderous for any NMUs using it, and thus it needs a complete, integrated, and convenient NMU alternative for the full length, which in practice means the changes I suggested earlier, and from Brough to Scotch Corner, but particularly as far as Bowes, as at least then there is the A67.

I didn’t realise that’s the case, and if it is that’s a real shame. Having in the past cycled along busy dual carriageway trunk roads that don’t have proper NMU provision (A27 and A3) stick in my mind, I understand the points you make. Considering the NMU infrastructure elsewhere this does seem a little strange.
To be fair most of the road between Brough and Bowes has been D2 for many years with sections opening as follows

Brough Bypass 2.0 miles Opened 1977
Brough-Stainmore 1.0 miles Opened 1994
Stainmore Bypass 2.4 Opened 1992
Bowes Moor 8.7 miles Opened 1993

The only new bit is the Bowes bypass and that DOES include NMU access via the existing A66. It is not normal practise to redo existing sections of D2 when extra S2 sections are upgraded and that was not in the scope of the project proposal.
Yes, it makes sense from the standpoint of "we have to provide NMU improvements within the scheme boundary". But the scheme boundary is determined by the bottlenecks of motor traffic. Meanwhile you end up with white elephant NMU provision that isn't used, simple because it goes nowhere. There's no movement to rectify past mistakes, instead National Highways England just throw NMUs onto the 1960s-1990s dual carriageways.

You'd think that a company in charge of managing a transport network would understand that, you know, it needs to be a network.

And even within current scheme boundaries they fail. Just look at Appleby - Brough. 1.6 miles to the B6259 junction. 2.4 miles to connect up with the old A66.

And sure, it might be unconventional to redo existing sections, but when you have a road like the A66, confined by the Pennines? It's the shortest, flattest route between Cumbria and Darlington, Middlesborough... Heck, it's easily the easiest route from York.

As it is, it's a thoroughly unpleasant road. Reminded me of the A303 around my parts.
Capture.jpg
Again from LEJOG. A bank holiday monday. I cycled on both single and dual carriageway sections (the latter being about a mile). Unpleasant, but at no time was it utterly terrifying, and it saved quite a bit of extra climbing.

But the A34, for instance, is a whole different league. I once had the misfortune to end up on that road at rush hour (Bicester-Oxford, sat nav went haywire). That was truly, utterly horrifying. I'd probably have been far safer going the one other way that I knew home - down the M40's hard shoulder, off to Wheatley, cycleway from there.

The A66 is going to move from being like the A303 to more like the A34. What long distance cyclists there are are either going to carry on riding it, or just not. But some will cycle it, and people will die as a result of this scheme.

It's about £1 million for a km of cycle superhighway. The section from Brough to Bowes is just over 20 km.

Let's call it £30 mn. Next to the £1 billion being spent on this project.

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owen b
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by owen b » Mon Sep 27, 2021 19:29

solocle wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 18:27
And sure, it might be unconventional to redo existing sections, but when you have a road like the A66, confined by the Pennines? It's the shortest, flattest route between Cumbria and Darlington, Middlesborough... Heck, it's easily the easiest route from York.

As it is, it's a thoroughly unpleasant road......

The A66 is going to move from being like the A303 to more like the A34. What long distance cyclists there are are either going to carry on riding it, or just not. But some will cycle it, and people will die as a result of this scheme.

It's about £1 million for a km of cycle superhighway. The section from Brough to Bowes is just over 20 km.

Let's call it £30 mn. Next to the £1 billion being spent on this project.
I've done a fair amount of leisure cycling including a handful of multi-day long distance trips and I understand your points. But I'm an accountant by trade and I have my doubts that £30 million spent on a Brough to Bowes cycle superhighway would be value for money. I suspect that £30 million would get much more benefit to cyclists elsewhere where there is higher cycling demand. I'd be interested to know how much demand there is to cycle along the A66 Pennines corridor, but my suspicion is very little. My hunch is that there aren't a large number of long distance cyclists wanting to cross the north Pennines, and most of those that do prioritise scenery and the challenge of the hill climbs so are happy to pick other routes, and I really can't imagine there are many cyclists using the A66 or that general part of the north Pennines for non-leisure purposes.
Owen

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