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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Amey Consulting wins £45m Highways England contract to help transform the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine

Amey Consulting, in collaboration with Arup, has been awarded the £45m A66 Northern Transpennine Design Partner contract by Highways England to help transform the A66. The team will be responsible for the design development of the upgrade programme and transition into a Technical Adviser role, to work alongside Highways England during detailed design and construction, once the scheme gains consent.

The billon pound investment to dual the remaining single carriageway sections of the A66 is one of the most important highways investments in the North of England and will significantly improve journey times and driver experience, as well as improving safety.

The A66 is a trans-Pennine link that connects Scotch Corner on the A1(M) with Penrith on the M6, making it the most important route to get from east to west for many of England’s northern counties. Its position at the heart of the UK makes it the route of choice for long distance drivers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the East of England and it carries high levels of freight traffic (25%); more than double the national average. It’s also hugely important for tourism, giving access to the Lake District and the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The route upgrade programme will:

  • Dual the remaining six single carriageway sections of the A66 between the M6 and A1(M), thereby improving journey times, safety, reliability and resilience across the route

  • Introduce capacity improvements and reduce delays at the M6 J40 and A6/A66 junction (Penrith) and at the A1(M) / A66 junction (Scotch Corner)

  • Improve safety on the route

  • Reduce physical barriers for communities and improve air quality and noise for those that live and work along the route

  • Improve strategic regional and national connectivity, connect key employment areas of Cumbria, Tees Valley and Tyne and Wear and improve access to key tourist destinations such as the North Pennines and the Lake District

  • Contribute positively to the future economic growth of the north of England

Matt Townsend, senior project manager, Highways England said: “This is one of the biggest-ever investments in the strategic road network in the North. We’re looking forward to working alongside Amey Consulting with Arup in the coming years to deliver safer, quicker and more reliable A66 journeys for the communities and businesses it serves across the North and further afield.”

Alex Gilbert, managing director, Amey Consulting said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the lead design role for the A66 Northern Transpennine upgrade. Our strong history in UK based design of major highways and our current Design Services Contracts with Highways England in Areas 13 (North West) and 14 (North East) brings a unique, local understanding of this route. Our experience of working in partnership with Arup also means this programme can benefit from years of collaboration and expertise in highways engineering. Communities across the north will benefit from a safer, better performing and more reliable route.”

Tony Marshall, highways business leader, Arup said: "The A66 Northern Transpennine upgrade is a key stepping stone towards improving strategic regional and national connectivity in the North. We are delighted to be collaborating with Amey Consulting to support Highways England to drive economic growth in the region through connectivity to employment hubs, greater access to local tourist destinations and in creating a safe, reliable road network.”

Amey Consulting and Arup have previous experience of collaborating on large highways contracts. The team are currently working together to design the dualling of a 26-mile section of the A96 in Scotland following a £50m contract award in 2017.

Today’s announcement also forms part of a wider commitment which Amey Consulting and Arup have to the north of England. Both firms are working in partnership with the Transpire Alliance on the multi-billion Trans-Pennine Rail Upgrade scheme; a scheme to restore, enhance and rebuild the rail infrastructure across the Pennine corridor in the North-East of England.

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