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Praise for drivers after A66 weekend closures

Team Valley: Road workers delivering the 7 different A66 Eden Valley improvements pictured at the start of the project a fortnight ago

Highways England has praised drivers and residents for their support as its £5 million package of carriageway improvements along the A66 in Cumbria starts to take shape.

This weekend sees the third of seven consecutive closures of the road between Penrith and Brough. Highways England project manager Steve Mason says the progress so far couldn’t have been achieved without the support of local people, drivers and hauliers.

Mr Mason said: “The support of local people, road users and HGV drivers has enabled us to crack on with the work – and carry out as much work as possible alongside the major scheme at Kirkby Thore.

“We would also like to thank Cumbria Police for their support in making sure the diversion routes have been operating smoothly and safely in the interest of the local community and drivers.

Mr Mason is reminding all drivers that weekend closures will continue until Monday 22 October   – and that they can sign up for text alerts to get up-to-the-minute information on progress.

Highways England’s A66 Eden Valley project manager Steve Mason

He said: “We did a lot of consultation in the run-up to the work and many people said they’d like to get text alerts to let them know of any issues or when the road was re-opening.  This is the first time we have ever used text alerts in a project of this nature and hundreds of local people and road users have already signed up. With a full 5 weekends of work still to go we think a lot of people could still benefit from signing up to the service which is completely free.”

Anyone wishing to sign up to the free text alert service should send a text message from their device with the message ‘A66’ to 07860 048333.

The major road reconstruction is taking place between Low Moor and Kirkby Thore, east of Penrith, but Highways England is using the opportunity to do other repairs and maintenance along the A66 during the closures which start at 10pm each Friday and are lifted by 3am on the following Monday.

Full details of the project are available at: www.highwaysengland.co.uk/A66EdenValley However, both Highways England and Cumbria Police say they are keen to remind drivers of the diversions in place to reduce speeding and inappropriate use of diversion routes.

Inspector Steve Minnikin of Cumbria Police said: “I strongly urge drivers to plan ahead before setting off on their journey. I would also like to warn everyone that we will continue to have officers on the lookout for those people who are putting the lives of road users, including pedestrians and the staff working on the roadworks, at risk.”

Details of the diversion routes for HGVs are:

  • HGVs to use the A69 instead of the A66 to travel between the M6 at Carlisle and A1 at Newcastle as the alternative M6 to A1 and A1 to M6, trans-Pennine route
  • HGVs to use the M62 trans-Pennine route linking Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire as an alternative diversion further south.

Details of the local diversions being used include:

  • the A685 Brough to Tebay route via Kirkby Stephen with current restrictions remaining in place (18 tonne weight and 14ft 6in height limits).
  • the B6260, Appleby to Shap route via Orton with current restrictions remaining in place (18 tonnes except for  access)
  • the Bolton to the A6 route via Clifton
  • a 7.5 tonne limit will be in place on the A66 from Appleby

Fuller diversion information is also available on the project webpage.

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