The Chancellor has announced in his Autumn Statement today (23rd November 2016) that the A66 will be upgraded to dual-carriageway from Penrith to Scotch Corner in the next transport programme, between 2020-2025. Use the following link to see the announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/autumn-statement-2016-transport-announcements/autumn-statement-2016-transport-projects
Overall, it should help improve road safety, boost economic growth, avoid road closures/diversions and shorten journey times. This will help east-west links once the A1 upgrade to motorway standard is completed in spring 2017. We expect further details to be announced in the coming weeks and months.