Exhibition “final step” on road to Temple Sowerby bypass

Date: Saturday 4th February 2006

A START of work exhibition next week for the £39.6 million A66 Temple Sowerby bypass is the final step before work starts on the project later this month, says the Highways Agency.

The new bypass is designed to remove 95 per cent. of the traffic from the village, improving safety and reducing the noise, pollution and visual intrusion caused by the 15,000 vehicles a day about a quarter of them heavy lorries currently using the road.

The exhibition will give the public the opportunity to see the plans and talk to the project team, members of which will be able to explain the proposals in detail. The exhibition is to be held in Temple Sowerby village hall on Wednesday between 5-30pm and 8pm, and on Thursday between 10-30am and 8pm.

Highways Agency project manager David Cochrane said: “The residents of Temple Sowerby have waited patiently for the start of work on a bypass round this picturesque village and I am very pleased to say that day has now arrived.

“The existing road goes through the middle of Temple Sowerby and the new bypass will remove the through traffic and return the village to the community. The 300 residents of the village have suffered for many years and when completed the new bypass will give residents a traffic free life and breathe new life into the village.

“The start of work exhibition will offer local residents the opportunity to see the detailed plans and talk to my team about any queries they may have.”

Temple Sowerby has 22 grade II listed buildings in its centre and a fine stone arch bridge over the River Eden, which will benefit from the new bypass. The bypass would reduce by almost 95 per cent. the amount of traffic in the village centre and the number of heavy goods vehicles by 97 per cent.

The new 4.9 kilometre dual carriageway will start from a new junction with the Cliburn road at the village’s west end and run through to a new junction at the eastern end tying in with the Morland road.

SPECIAL DESIGN

It has been specially designed to minimise the impact on the environment and includes:

l Planting of new trees and hedgerows.

l Mounds to screen the bypass from neighbouring properties.

l Off site planting to screen the view of the new road from existing properties.

l A new bridge at Acton Lodge which will be designed to encourage wildlife.

l New drainage ponds will be landscaped to encourage wildlife.

l New bridges and landscaping will maintain links for bats and other wildlife to cross the bypass as well as providing new habitats for animals to forage.

l Badger fencing will be installed to minimise the effect on the local population.

The bypass crosses the River Eden, which is designated as a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and special measures will be taken to protect the river during construction and when the bypass is in use.

The bridge supports will be constructed away from the conservation area and the scheme includes a drainage system to prevent pollution of the river.

Construction of the bypass is expected to take up to two years.