Upgrading the A66 and A69

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CallumParry
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by CallumParry » Sun Nov 22, 2020 22:18

Personally even though it will NEVER happen i think a complete new trans-pennine motorway is needed!! we need a route that is complete free flow and minimal junctions only for key sites like A1(M) Barnard Castle, Brough, Appleby and Penrith. Any other European nation or in the USA a key route would have been of much better quality than what we have now or even going to get with the proposed improvements. i'd even advocate the route been extended as far east as Teesside to at least meet the A19.

Reliable East/West routes pretty much die north of the M62

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by ForestChav » Sun Nov 22, 2020 22:21

Barnard Castle would die for a drive-thru opticians
C, E flat and G go into a bar. The barman says "sorry, we don't serve minors". So E flat walks off, leaving C and G to share an open fifth between them.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by owen b » Sun Nov 22, 2020 22:23

KeithW wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 22:13
The moors are not an AONB in fact the A66 skirts the southern edge. They are more accurately described as bleak than beautiful. Brough on the other hand is rather attractive but does not have a large amount of space to spare.
The A66 does go through the North Pennines AONB for several miles over the moor, as this map clearly shows : https://www.northpennines.org.uk/what_w ... b-1km-map/
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Big Nick
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by Big Nick » Mon Nov 23, 2020 00:49

Rather than building a whole load of new service areas in the countryside why not direct drivers into Brough or Appleby?

It's barely an hour from Penrith to Scotch Corner with services and fuel at each end. Are we really that desperate to stop at a bland generic mini-shopping centre that could be anywhere?
There is a lack of employment in the towns and local shops are struggling. So why not provide better parking and toilets in the towns and encourage local trade?

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by Ruperts Trooper » Mon Nov 23, 2020 07:52

Big Nick wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 00:49
Rather than building a whole load of new service areas in the countryside why not direct drivers into Brough or Appleby?

It's barely an hour from Penrith to Scotch Corner with services and fuel at each end. Are we really that desperate to stop at a bland generic mini-shopping centre that could be anywhere?
There is a lack of employment in the towns and local shops are struggling. So why not provide better parking and toilets in the towns and encourage local trade?
Experience on the A9 shows that drivers tend to ignore bypassed settlements, despite the signage.
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by KeithW » Mon Nov 23, 2020 09:32

Big Nick wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 00:49
Rather than building a whole load of new service areas in the countryside why not direct drivers into Brough or Appleby?

It's barely an hour from Penrith to Scotch Corner with services and fuel at each end. Are we really that desperate to stop at a bland generic mini-shopping centre that could be anywhere?
There is a lack of employment in the towns and local shops are struggling. So why not provide better parking and toilets in the towns and encourage local trade?

I have already mentioned this but both are quite small, Brough has a population of 751, Appleby is bigger at 3000. Both can be crowded in summer and neither can handle caravans or HGV's. They can struggle now so double the traffic levels on the A66 and we have a problem. The other thing to recall is few drivers will stop in Penrith. As for Scotch Corner access to the services from the A1(M) northbound is a pain. Its a small area where facilities and parking are limited. It is a rest area rather than a full blown MSA. There is no parking for caravans or HGV's.

If we look at a fairly typical leg to Scotland the distance between Leeming Bar Services and Moto Southwaite is over 80 miles. In summer you will see a lot of caravanners on the A66 and HGV's use it all year round. A favourite stopping point for both is the Stainmore Cafe which is why I mentioned expanding that.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by Stevie D » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:18

Big Nick wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 00:49
Rather than building a whole load of new service areas in the countryside why not direct drivers into Brough or Appleby?

It's barely an hour from Penrith to Scotch Corner with services and fuel at each end. Are we really that desperate to stop at a bland generic mini-shopping centre that could be anywhere?
There is a lack of employment in the towns and local shops are struggling. So why not provide better parking and toilets in the towns and encourage local trade?
A designated service area should provide toilets, food, a rest area and preferably fuel, ideally 24 hours a day but certainly all day long if not through the night. It needs to have sufficient parking, including for HGVs.

I really can't see how Brough could accommodate that, it's a village with not much in the way of facilities, a couple of pubs and a café but hardly any parking and nothing suitable for lorries. Especially given its location in the valley, with a steep climb to join the A66 to the east and an escape lane on the slip road coming off the A66 from the east, it's really not a sensible place to designate as a service area. Appleby fares slightly better, with a better range of facilities including a petrol station, but parking is still quite limited and again there is nowhere suitable for HGVs.

My preference would be to develop one or two sites like Mainsgill, they can still be locally owned and run, they don't need to be full MSA standard, but providing safe access on and off the A66, which is the biggest problem with the various cafés and stops at the moment.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by roadtester » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:31

Get Westmorland - it's almost on their home patch anyway - to come up with two smaller-than-MSA facilities built using local natural materials and subject to thoughtful landscaping. Stuff the on-site farm shops with local produce and Bob's your uncle.
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by KeithW » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:53

owen b wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 22:23
KeithW wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 22:13
The moors are not an AONB in fact the A66 skirts the southern edge. They are more accurately described as bleak than beautiful. Brough on the other hand is rather attractive but does not have a large amount of space to spare.
The A66 does go through the North Pennines AONB for several miles over the moor, as this map clearly shows : https://www.northpennines.org.uk/what_w ... b-1km-map/
Take a look at the details and you will find that the reason for that is to protect the Moorland itself and the environment of the River Greta Valley and Sleighthome Beck. West of Bowes Moor the A66 is for the most part the boundary, this was chosen for convenience as it is well defined feature. The main concern with the Bowes Moor SSI is limiting access to the moorland itself rather than preserving the A66 corridor. To this end an action is to ensure fencing is adequate to limit grazing. Its sheep not motor vehicles that have damaged it. For details see
http://publications.naturalengland.org. ... 8561071104

Moreover there is no ban on building within an AONB. In fact a number of buildings have been erected and modernised over Bowes Moor. The old Bowes Moor Hotel was converted into a number of houses in 2012. There are guidelines to ensure new construction fits in with the environment. Look at the North Pennines AONB Building Design Guide and you will find it specifies guidelines for this area.

1) Principles
Principles for the management of Category V Protected Landscapes
As part of the family of Category V protected areas, the principles that should
guide the management of AONBs include:
• Conserving landscape, biodiversity and cultural values as the central focus of the
Category V protected area approach;
• Focussing management at the point of interaction between people and nature;
• Seeing people as stewards of the landscape;
• Undertaking management with and through local people;
• Management based on co-operative approaches;
• A political and economic environment that supports effective management;
• Management of the highest professional standard that is flexible and
adaptive.
• Measurement of the success of management in environmental and social terms.
Management Guidelines for IUCN Category V Protected Landscapes/Seascapes,
IUCN, 2002

In this particular AONB specific areas with their own guidelines are
a) The Allen Valleys
b) Weardale
c) Teesdale
d) The Derwent Valley
e) The South Tyne Valley
f) The Eden Valley - see area around Appleby, Kirkby Thore, Warcop etc.

If ever there was an example of a case involving focussing management at the point of interaction between people and nature its the A66. This has been a major route between England and western Scotland for millenia as has the A69. Without the A66 and the railways there would be no Brough or Appleby, Modern buildings have been built along the A66 in Kirkby Thore and there is a gypsum quarry to the north of the village.

Warcop being an MOD establishment is used for firing exercises involving Armoured Fighting Vehicles has its own rules of course.

Brough has its origin in the Vicus of the Roman fort of Verterae on the northern leg of the Roman-era Watling Street, linking Luguvalium (Carlisle) with Eboracum (York) and points south.

Appleby-in-Westmorland, Kirkby Thore and Broughham have similar origins, in fact the 'new' route of the A66 west of Appleby actually follows the Roman Road. The A66 is as ancient a route as any in Britain, is a working landscape and always has been. In many ways its the Northern equivalent of the A303 but fortunately people are less precious about Roman Forts than they are about Stonehenge.

Put in a planning application to erect a facility or building that is in harmony with the local landscape, obeys the building principles guidelines and that benefits the local community and its unlikely to be rejected. This is not Twyford Down, the locals have been asking for these road improvements for decades.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by KeithW » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:05

roadtester wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:31
Get Westmorland - it's almost on their home patch anyway - to come up with two smaller-than-MSA facilities built using local natural materials and subject to thoughtful landscaping. Stuff the on-site farm shops with local produce and Bob's your uncle.
Its already been done right here , all you need is a filling station, or maybe not, it has a charging point for electric cars :)
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.51944 ... 312!8i6656

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by roadtester » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:20

KeithW wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:05
roadtester wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:31
Get Westmorland - it's almost on their home patch anyway - to come up with two smaller-than-MSA facilities built using local natural materials and subject to thoughtful landscaping. Stuff the on-site farm shops with local produce and Bob's your uncle.
Its already been done right here , all you need is a filling station, or maybe not, it has a charging point for electric cars :)
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.51944 ... 312!8i6656
Actually, I'd already made a mental note to check that one out next time I was up there after you'd mentioned it in your previous post!

It certainly does look like it could form the basis of a sympathetic development along the lines I was suggesting, although they'd probably have to do something to make the access safer in the context of an upgraded route - is that bit staying the same under the current plans or is it being upgraded?

I suppose another possibility is that with some decent slip roads and a closed central reservation gap it could just serve traffic going in one direction. I see that the farm also seems to extend to the other side of the road, so perhaps there could be a separate (sympathetic) development on that side to serve traffic going the other way.
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owen b
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by owen b » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:37

KeithW wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:53
owen b wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 22:23
KeithW wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 22:13
The moors are not an AONB in fact the A66 skirts the southern edge. They are more accurately described as bleak than beautiful. Brough on the other hand is rather attractive but does not have a large amount of space to spare.
The A66 does go through the North Pennines AONB for several miles over the moor, as this map clearly shows : https://www.northpennines.org.uk/what_w ... b-1km-map/
Take a look at the details and you will find that the reason for that......
Right, so we agree that the A66 does in fact go through the AONB, of which Bowes Moor is a part :) .

I'm very familiar with the Scotch Corner to Penrith section of the A66 having grown up in County Durham, having hill walked extensively in the area, and having frequently used it as an alternative route to get to Scotland from Luton when the M1 or M6 have been jammed. The last time I went that way I stopped for lunch at the pub at Kirkby Thore. I have even visited the military offices at Warcop to request permission to hike up Mickle Fell which is within the Danger Area. Permission was granted :D .

The area doesn't have the beauty of the Lake District or various other upland regions of the UK but it is nevertheless an important and rightly protected area of high landscape, historical and ecological value. I'm not against sympathetic development of the route and provision of appropriate roadside facilities and I have never held the view that all development in national parks, AONBs, or other areas with protected environmental status should be forbidden. Nevertheless, the fact that several miles of the A66 goes through the AONB and other lengths of it form the AONB's boundary is a significant consideration in determining where to put any facilities.
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by KeithW » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:01

roadtester wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:20


Actually, I'd already made a mental note to check that one out next time I was up there after you'd mentioned it in your previous post!

It certainly does look like it could form the basis of a sympathetic development along the lines I was suggesting, although they'd probably have to do something to make the access safer in the context of an upgraded route - is that bit staying the same under the current plans or is it being upgraded?

I suppose another possibility is that with some decent slip roads and a closed central reservation gap it could just serve traffic going in one direction. I see that the farm also seems to extend to the other side of the road, so perhaps there could be a separate (sympathetic) development on that side to serve traffic going the other way.
My thoughts exactly. At the Stainmore Cafe closing the gap and putting in an overbridge and pair of lilos as was done on the A1 at Colsterworth when the roundabout was removed would probably be adequate. Its already a truckstop. To be honest the flat crossing at present is rarely a problem but if traffic levels rise as expected I think it soon will be.
https://www.transportcafe.co.uk/truck-s ... -cafe-a66/


Cross Lanes is going to get a new junction to provide access to Moorhouse Lane, the B6277 for Barnard Castle, Cross Lanes Organic Farm and the listed building at Cross Lanes. About time too, as the current layout is extremely dangerous and there have been several serious accidents including 3 fatalities. One which could have been catastrophic involved a large piece of agricultural machinery that blocked the road for several hours.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by roadtester » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:19

KeithW wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:01
My thoughts exactly. At the Stainmore Cafe closing the gap and putting in an overbridge and pair of lilos as was done on the A1 at Colsterworth when the roundabout was removed would probably be adequate. Its already a truckstop. To be honest the flat crossing at present is rarely a problem but if traffic levels rise as expected I think it soon will be.
https://www.transportcafe.co.uk/truck-s ... -cafe-a66/
I'm looking forward to my eventual visit even more now I've read that review about the breakfasts!
owen b wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:37
I'm not against sympathetic development of the route and provision of appropriate roadside facilities and I have never held the view that all development in national parks, AONBs, or other areas with protected environmental status should be forbidden. Nevertheless, the fact that several miles of the A66 goes through the AONB and other lengths of it form the AONB's boundary is a significant consideration in determining where to put any facilities.
Very much this - I think the knee-jerk reaction is always to be against development of any sort in these types of areas, but often a case can be made in the other direction.

Imagine an upgraded A66 without improved facilities commensurate with the raised quality of the route or its increased traffic volumes. That means overloaded laybys with overflowing bins and worse, ruining the experience for anyone who wants to stop to enjoy the view.

Now imagine one or two really well designed sites with full facilities that respect the surroundings and take the pressure off the rest of the other potential stops en route, offering travellers a chance to enjoy a restful break in attractive surroundings.

Personally I think the second option is likely better to protect an AONB, as well as allowing more people to enjoy it without messing it up.
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by Rob590 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 15:10

roadtester wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:19
KeithW wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:01
My thoughts exactly. At the Stainmore Cafe closing the gap and putting in an overbridge and pair of lilos as was done on the A1 at Colsterworth when the roundabout was removed would probably be adequate. Its already a truckstop. To be honest the flat crossing at present is rarely a problem but if traffic levels rise as expected I think it soon will be.
https://www.transportcafe.co.uk/truck-s ... -cafe-a66/
I'm looking forward to my eventual visit even more now I've read that review about the breakfasts!
owen b wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:37
I'm not against sympathetic development of the route and provision of appropriate roadside facilities and I have never held the view that all development in national parks, AONBs, or other areas with protected environmental status should be forbidden. Nevertheless, the fact that several miles of the A66 goes through the AONB and other lengths of it form the AONB's boundary is a significant consideration in determining where to put any facilities.
Very much this - I think the knee-jerk reaction is always to be against development of any sort in these types of areas, but often a case can be made in the other direction.

Imagine an upgraded A66 without improved facilities commensurate with the raised quality of the route or its increased traffic volumes. That means overloaded laybys with overflowing bins and worse, ruining the experience for anyone who wants to stop to enjoy the view.

Now imagine one or two really well designed sites with full facilities that respect the surroundings and take the pressure off the rest of the other potential stops en route, offering travellers a chance to enjoy a restful break in attractive surroundings.

Personally I think the second option is likely better to protect an AONB, as well as allowing more people to enjoy it without messing it up.
Again, I find myself somewhat astonished. An overbridge?!? Note as well that this area is also visible from within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which is also a consideration. There really is no chance of that happening within a protected area particularly when, and this is the key point, there is no reason to build in that protected area. Stainmore Cafe is a low-lying building with small parking area that from a distance looks more or less indistinguishable from a farmhouse. You could probably build a new services which looks something like that, but I'd have thought that the cost would be too much to justify it.

The A66 runs for 51 miles between Scotch Corner and Rheged. I'd agree that a services along the way would be beneficial but they don't need to be in the 15 of those 51 miles that have extra levels of protection. Of course there's always situations where building in these zones is the best idea, but I struggle to see why it would be in this instance. I had been thinking that an ideal-world services would be between the A685 and A67, although maybe not as then of course all traffic heading onto those routes passes through towns (Barnard Castle or Kirkby Stephen) with plenty of facilities, so perhaps on reflection the target is traffic doing the full length of the A66. On those grounds, maybe something between Appelby and Brough would be a better option.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by DavidBrown » Mon Nov 23, 2020 15:34

Rob590 wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 15:10
On those grounds, maybe something between Appelby and Brough would be a better option.
I'd agree, and indeed from a very simplistic perspective something in the Warcop area would be bang on half way between Scotch Corner and Southwaite on the M6. Yes, it's still ~32 miles between Warcop and either site, but would fill what currently is quite a gap for those not too familiar with the local villages quite nicely.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by Big Nick » Mon Nov 23, 2020 16:51

DavidBrown wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 15:34
Rob590 wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 15:10
On those grounds, maybe something between Appelby and Brough would be a better option.
I'd agree, and indeed from a very simplistic perspective something in the Warcop area would be bang on half way between Scotch Corner and Southwaite on the M6. Yes, it's still ~32 miles between Warcop and either site, but would fill what currently is quite a gap for those not too familiar with the local villages quite nicely.
It strikes me that the Eden Valley Railway could do rather well out of having a service area with long-term parking near their main station at Warcop. Offer free parking with a rail museum ticket etc.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by NICK 647063 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 18:11

If we look at a fairly typical leg to Scotland the distance between Leeming Bar Services and Moto Southwaite is over 80 miles. In summer you will see a lot of caravanners on the A66 and HGV's use it all year round. A favourite stopping point for both is the Stainmore Cafe which is why I mentioned expanding that.
But if you are not counting Scotch Corner as it’s a rest area then you cannot include Leeming Bar as it’s also a rest area but also less facilities than Scotch corner and a longer diversion off the motorway, the only real services is Wetherby, Scotch corner was packed all summer and full of caravans even though not allowed, I think it makes sense to build a new Scotch corner that can take all traffic including HGV traffic, a huge designer village is to be built at Scotch corner on the A6055 LAR so maybe just relocate the services nearby, Scotch corner is ideal on such a busy junction but simply too small.

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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by Ruperts Trooper » Mon Nov 23, 2020 18:36

NICK 647063 wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 18:11
If we look at a fairly typical leg to Scotland the distance between Leeming Bar Services and Moto Southwaite is over 80 miles. In summer you will see a lot of caravanners on the A66 and HGV's use it all year round. A favourite stopping point for both is the Stainmore Cafe which is why I mentioned expanding that.
But if you are not counting Scotch Corner as it’s a rest area then you cannot include Leeming Bar as it’s also a rest area but also less facilities than Scotch corner and a longer diversion off the motorway, the only real services is Wetherby, Scotch corner was packed all summer and full of caravans even though not allowed, I think it makes sense to build a new Scotch corner that can take all traffic including HGV traffic, a huge designer village is to be built at Scotch corner on the A6055 LAR so maybe just relocate the services nearby, Scotch corner is ideal on such a busy junction but simply too small.
Few service areas have adequate parking for caravans, and where they do they're often occupied by other classes of vehicles - Wetherby was an exception though.
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Re: Upgrading the A66 and A69

Post by Glenn A » Sat Nov 28, 2020 15:01

This might have been changed since last year, but I notice as you drive into Newcastle on the A69, the original road lighting from 1976 is still in place with the orange sodium lighting, which contrasts with all the other lighting in the city that has been replaced. I wonder when this will change over to LED.

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