Bypass part of 10-year transport plan

Date: Saturday 22nd July 2000

THE 26-year campaign for a bypass for Temple Sowerby looks likely to have a few more miles to travel before it becomes a reality, even though the proposal is among six major trunk road schemes for the North West included in the Government’s 10-year transport plan.

THE 26-year campaign for a bypass for Temple Sowerby looks likely to have a few more miles to travel before it becomes a reality, even though the proposal is among six major trunk road schemes for the North West included in the Government’s 10-year transport plan.

The plan, entitled “Transport 2010”, which was published on Thursday, includes the Temple Sowerby bypass at the bottom of the list of six major trunk road schemes for the region being taken forward as part of the Highways Agency’s targeted program of improvements.

Clive Naish, regional information officer for the COI, North West, said consultants were now working on the details of the bypass scheme with a preferred route having been selected.

Traffic orders relating to the line of the route are likely to be published by 2001/02 and there would then be a period for consultation and objections, with a public inquiry being held if necessary.

Such a timescale means that it is unlikely that the scheme, which was first called for in 1974, will come to fruition within the next seven years.

Mr. Naish said the bypass scheme had moved into the “next stage” and was much further on than when it was dropped from the Government’s road program in 1998 because the plans were not sufficiently advanced.

The transport plan also includes the ongoing work of the A66 safety study which is currently investigating the poor safety record between Scotch Corner and Penrith and looking at a whole range of issues which might improve safety for motorists.

The findings are expected to be published in the autumn and will be looking at the issue of dualling the length of the route to introducing smaller scale improvements, such as speed limits and improved junctions, while also looking into the possibility of reducing the number of HGVs on the A66 through increased use of other transport means, such as rail.

The transport plan also states that a number of safety improvements to also ease congestion in some areas have to be completed by March 2002 and these include provision of a right turn lane and a cycle lane on the Beckses junction on the A66, near Penruddock.