Rory Stewart MP has met with senior officials in the Department for Transport to press that complete dualling of the A66 between Penrith and Scotch Corner be treated as a priority in the government’s upcoming Roads Investment Strategy. In a very positive meeting, the Penrith and the Border MP received assurances that the DfT would review the proposals. He secured further support from other local MPs at a House of Commons debate on the same day, where he spoke on the vital role the A66 played in connecting Cumbria, the North East and Scotland.

The Roads Investment Strategy report will set out the major projects the Highways Agency will be asked to implement across the national road network. Rory has sought to demonstrate the substantial social and economic benefits that dualling would bring to the whole of Cumbria and the North East, and has previously met with the team that put together the original economic assessments for the road back in 2003. The original reports show that the remaining stretches of the A66 still to be dualled produce equally strong cost-benefit ratios, and make a compelling argument for further investment along the route.

Speaking after the Adjournment debate, Rory Stewart said:

“It is clear from the correspondence I have received, not just from residents and businesses in my own constituency, but from individuals right the way across the North of England and Scotland, that this is a road of major national significance, and it is in desperate need of further investment. Dualling the A66 would not only significantly reduce the number of accidents and delays, but holds real potential for economic growth in the area. It would link in perfectly with the M6 Corridor Initiative, attracting haulage firms into the area and supporting our industries, from agriculture to tourism. It is hugely encouraging to receive support from my fellow MPs, as well as the Department for Transport, and I am determined to continue driving this campaign forward to see the A66 listed as a priority case for dualling.”

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