A66 Upgrade & Consultations

A66 Planning Application Approved by Secretary of State March 7th 2024
Please see a letter confirming the approval of the A66 scheme by the Secretary of State. There are links to a very detailed response by the Secretary of State and Warcop is mentioned a few times, including the possibility of a new footpath from the middle of Warcop to the Parish Hall. There is now a six-week period for the decision to be challenged.

I think it is good news for our community and we have been able to influence the route and junction designs, which might not be exactly what we would have liked, but at least are an improvement. Here’s the link:


A66 Upgrade – 9th November 2023.

The Secretary of State for Transport has now decided to delay the decision on the planning application (DCO) for the A66 upgrade until the 7th March 2024. See more via this link:

A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Project | National Infrastructure Planning (planninginspectorate.gov.uk)

A more detailed letter from the Secretary of State for Transport explaining the need for more work to be done, and seeking further views by 29th November, is here:


Many in our community might feel dismayed at this latest delay to the dualling scheme.

Here is the latest response from the inspectorate who are examining the A66 DCO application by National Highways. Please note that most changes have been accepted into the DCO, such as a re-designed Langrigg junction, but that the Warcop junction has not, due to insufficient information on mitigating flood risks in the local area:

Planning Inspectorate
Dear Sir/Madam,
Unique Reference:A66D-EIA019Planning Act 2008 (as amended) Section 89The Infrastructure Planning (Examination Procedure) Rules 2010 (as amended) – Rules 9 and 17The Infrastructure Planning (Compulsory Acquisition) Regulations 2010 – Regulations 4 to 19Application by National Highways for an Order granting Development Consent for the A66 Northern Trans Pennine Project – Request to Make Changes to the Original ApplicationThe Examining Authority (ExA) has today published the Report on the Implications for European Sites (RIES) and the ExA’s schedule of changes to the draft DCO
The Exa has also made a Procedural Decision whether to accept the Applicant’s proposed changes to the application and requested further information.The ExA’s schedule of changes to the draft DCO:
http://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/document/TR010062-001713Report on the Implications for European Sites (RIES):
http://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/document/TR010062-001714Procedural Decision:
http://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/document/TR010062-001709You can also view the letter under the Documents tab on the project webpage of the National Infrastructure Planning website:
A66Dualling@planninginspectorate.gov.ukYours faithfully,
A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Project Case Team
National Infrastructure Planning
Helpline: 0303 444 5000
Email: A66Dualling@planninginspectorate.gov.ukWeb: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ (National Infrastructure Planning)
Web: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/planning-inspectorate (The Planning Inspectorate)
Twitter: @PINSgov
This communication does not constitute legal advice.
Please view our Privacy Notice before sending information to the Planning Inspectorate.


National Highways have proposed 34 changes to the DCO which will be outlined on the 28 January 2023 via this link: https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/a66-ntp-dco-application-design-change-consultation

There is also a period of consultation with four public meetings. There is one at Warcop Parish Hall on Wednesday the 1st February, 3 – 7pm. I am sure that you will want to attend if at all possible. Members of the CLG group will also be briefed via Teams meetings on Monday 23rd January, times to be arranged.

However you respond, it is important that you do as the feedback NH receives will strengthen the case to the planning inspectors to incorporate any such changes. I really feel that this will be the last opportunity to amend the route/junctions/other concerns, as they intend to start construction next year.

Here is a leaflet with some more information.

Here is National Highways’ A66 Winter Update 2022:

A66 Upgrade DCO Planning Application Approved

Here is an email from National Highways explaining the next stages of theproject:

National Highways DCO submission – A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project

As you will be aware, I wrote to you last month to inform you we had submitted our Development Consent Order (DCO) application for the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project.

I am pleased to say that our application has been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). This is a significant milestone for the project and means we can proceed to the next stage which is the pre-examination process. The below explains the different stages of the DCO process through to potential construction:

Pre-examination stage

At this stage, anyone can register with the Planning Inspectorate as an Interested Party by making a Relevant Representation. A Relevant Representation is a summary of a person’s views on an application, made in writing.

The Planning Inspectorate will also formally appoint a panel of inspectors to serve as the Examining Authority, and a meeting will be held to discuss procedural issues and the timetable for examination, called the Preliminary Meeting.


This can be a six-month process when the Examining Authority will examine the DCO application using written submissions and hearings.

During this stage, Interested Parties will be invited to provide more details of their views in writing. The Examining Authority will give careful consideration to all the important and relevant matters raised.

Recommendation and decision stage

Following the end of the examination stage, the Examining Authority will write a recommendation report and submit it to the Secretary of State for Transport.

The Secretary of State for Transport then has up to three months to make the final decision on whether to grant a development consent for the project.

Post-decision stage

Following the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision on whether to grant consent for the project, the final stage of the process is a six-week window for the decision to be challenged in the High Court. This process of legal challenge is known as judicial review.

The A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project will be one of the largest and most important highways investments in the north of England, and will significantly improve journeys, safety and connectivity.

As outlined in my previous letter, now the submission has been accepted, we will advertise the application via a variety of local, regional and national publications.

DCO documents are available on the PINS website https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/north-west/a66-northern-trans-pennine-project/

You can also find out more about the DCO process here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/application-process/the-process/

If any resident of the parish wishes to make written or in-person representations to the inspectors, it is important that they register as an interested person. National Highways say that no major changes are likely to be made but minor adjustments could still be made in the next phase of the examination stages.

Here are links to two more documents that may be helpful to you:

National Highways Winter Update

Please find below a link to the A66 NTP winter update website:


The link takes you to the winter update brochure, which summarises the key changes to the scheme since the autumn 2021 consultation. There is also a consultation summary report, which gives you details of the consultation, how many people took part and the feedback they received on their developing designs. 

March 2022 Consultation on Walking, Cycling Horse-riding Compounds and Landform

National Highways have made further amendments to their plans for the upgrading of the A66 and the link to the new information can be found here: A66 Trans-Pennine Supplementary Design Consultation: walking, cycling and horse-riding provision, landform and compounds – National Highways – Citizen Space

The direct online consultation form can be found here: A66 Trans-Pennine Supplementary Design Consultation: walking, cycling and horse-riding provision, landform and compounds – Page 1 of 3 – National Highways – Citizen Space



The Parish Council welcomes the additional provision for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders which many people have fed back to National Highways in previous responses to consultations.


Please see the attached leaflet regarding a supplementary consultation we are holding around the location of Brough Hill Fair. This will include drop-in sessions later in the month and an opportunity to feedback.

Further information will be available when the consultation launches on Friday, 11th March.

Here is a link to the leaflet: “C:\Users\keetl\Documents\David\Warcop Website\A66NTP Brough Hill Fair- Supplementary Consultation leaflet.pdf”

National Highways have made some amendments to the section of the A66 upgrade to the west of Sandford and in the central area. They have not amended the route to the east of Warcop as many local people have requested, often referred to as the “Billy Welch option.” It is worth noting that residents from Flitholme, Langrigg, Musgrave and Brough are not part of this consultation, despite many of them using the A66.

Please make sure you attend the consultation meetings at Warcop Parish hall and submit your views. This may be the last chance to influence National Highways to make them design the route even further north and away from our communities.

Here is the link to the A66 NTP page for drawings and further information:

A66 Trans-Pennine Supplementary Design Consultation: Appleby to Brough – National Highways – Citizen Space

Here is an extract from their website:

Another opportunity to join the conversation

Further to our Preferred Route Announcement in 2020, and our Design Consultation in 2021, your views are really important to us, so we’ll be consulting with you between Friday 28 January to and Sunday 27 February. This will provide you with the opportunity to find out more about our proposals and have your say about them.

Depending on any Government COVID-19 guidelines, we’re planning on hosting two drop-in sessions at Warcop Village Hall on Monday 7 February from 3pm to 7pm and Tuesday 8 February 8am to 2pm. There will be further details of the plans and members of the project team will be on hand to answer your questions. You can also provide your feedback or collect a form and freepost envelope to fill in at home.

If you can’t make the drop-in sessions and don’t have access to the internet, we’ll leave hard copies of the supplementary consultation brochure and feedback form at the below local deposit points:

Sandford: Sandford Arms, Appleby-in-Westmorland CA16 6NR

Brough: St. Michael’s Church, Brough CA17 4EJ

Please check opening times with the venue before you travel. You can also call or email us to request a hard copy of the brochure. If you have any specific questions, you can contact us by email on: A66NTP@highwaysengland.co.ukor call us on 0333 090 1192.


On the 5th of November, a small group of Parish Council representatives and County and District Councillors met with the National Highways team and our MP’s assistant to explore more northerly routes for our section of the upgraded A66. Essentially, NH rejected our call for a full northern bypass on the grounds of cost, MOD objections, topographical challenges and too much AONB incursion.

Please find below the minutes of the meeting and two outline drawings of two more potential northern options at the west and east end of our section. NH stressed that they did not think they would stand much chance of gaining consent, even though the representatives felt this compromise northern options would be a great improvement and be well supported by the community. If you download the plans, it is clearer if you magnify them to see where they might go and how close to properties and houses etc it might be.

  1. Please be aware that the consultation on Highways England’s proposals to upgrade the A66 between Penrith and Scotch Corner started on Friday 24th September and ran for six weeks until 6th November. It is now closed.

Please also look out for a petition on Change.org in support of our proposal for a northern bypass which will be out soon and please encourage lots of people near and far to sign it! Thanks.

Here is the link to the Highways England Consultation page. There are useful visualisations for each section, including Appleby to Brough:

A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Design Consultation September 2021 – Highways England – Citizen Space

Should you require paper copies of all these documents, please contact Highways England, newly named as National Highways, or I have 4 copies if you contact me.

Warcop & Musgrave Parish Councils have been lobbying Highways England to design a more northerly route which would take the new road away from the villages of Warcop and Sandford as well as individual properties along our section of the route.

While some welcome amendments to their design have been made, we still feel that the new road should be further away to reduce air, noise and visual pollution. We recognise that this would mean part of the road running across a small section of an Area of Outstanding Beauty, but we believe the needs of current and future residents should be more important than preserving a small section of low-grade land currently damaged by the activities of the MOD.

Please can you make sure you attend one of the face to face consultation events and also send in an official consultation form with your views? The more responses they receive saying their current proposals are unacceptable the better. The Warcop Parish Hall dates are Monday 4th to Wednesday 6th October.

Specifically, if they won’t consider our northern bypass proposal, then they can improve their design by a) building the new carriageway between Café 66 and Dyke Nook to the north of the existing road, not the south, including storage ponds; b) between Brough and Warcop, design a straight line new road to the north of the current road, thus reducing the need for complex junctions at Langrigg, Flitholme and Warcop. This would then join with HE’s route to the west of the army playing field.

We have also asked that they consider extending the non-road user section from Moorhouse Lane to Appleby, for cyclists, walkers, horse riders etc. In addition, we have requested that they construct a new footpath from the primary school in Warcop into the centre of the village for road safety reasons.

Here is a link to the consultation dates and venues table: https://apis.mail.yahoo.com/ws/v3/mailboxes/@.id==VjN-7JRFnL-fyeiiYaiwEM2LjhViDAwg8ygWGLv1Jt7lEoyZrdudzMVHlm2dtTWuXSDvpXSQPIt7834jXjyRXCwNNg/messages/@.id==AEIdcLpeOirgYUiAWA5zODiRm2c/content/parts/@.id==2/thumbnail?appid=YMailNorrin&downloadWhenThumbnailFails=true&pid=2

Please remember that this road will be there for hundreds of years so the chosen route must be safe for future generations and as far away from villages and houses as possible.

Thank you.

David Keetley

Chair, Warcop Parish Council

2. Below is a letter from Highways England publicising their forthcoming statutory consultation. The time table of consultation venues and dates can be found by clicking on the thumbnail link below:

Dear Sir or Madam

I am contacting you as you have an interest in the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project.

Public consultation starts for the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project on 24 September and runs through to 6 November 2021. This will be your opportunity to learn more about our plans for dualling the A66 and to view our proposals in more detail. We strongly encourage you to provide your views to us through this statutory consultation, as this is intended to be the last round of consultation before submission of the DCO application. This will allow us to take your views into account in developing and refining our proposals in advance of submitting our application to the Planning Inspectorate. We also encourage you to share the details of this consultation, and how to get involved, with your wider network.

If you need hard copies of materials for reasons such as slow download speeds, please do reply back to request a copy to be posted to you. These can be provided free of charge, however, there may be a charge applied to copies of the other consultation documents.

Highways England | Major Projects

Need to contact us?

Website:  https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a66-northern-trans-pennine/

Email:  A66NTP@highwaysengland.co.uk

Twitter – www.twitter.com/A66NTP

Post:  A66 NTP, Highways England, Fifth Floor, 3 Piccadilly Place, Manchester, M1 3BN

Timetable link:

thumbnail (522×779) (yahoo.com)

3. Since the announcement that the A66 is to be dualled between Penrith and Scotch Corner, it was felt a page of posts, plans and information would be better maintained on a dedicated page. Over the coming weeks, we hope to transfer relevant information to this page for ease of access.

While the Northern Trans Pennine Scheme is a nationally important one, which Warcop Parish Council supports on the grounds of road safety and economic benefit, our main concern is for the best route for our section between Appleby and Brough. We believe it should be as far away as possible from homes, businesses and amenities.

Please note the disclaimer regarding the HE plans:

“The plans are draft and only for the preferred route alignment. They do not take into account the alternatives which are currently being considered (as per the published leaflet). The proposals may change following stakeholder and landowner discussions, consideration of evidence base work and design development. They are not fixed at this stage.”

We are holding a public meeting at Warcop Parish hall for local residents to express their views on Highways England ‘s latest proposals. Our MP and local councillors have been invited. See poster link below:

http://MP stands with opponents to preferred A66 route – Cumberland and Westmorland Herald (cwherald.com)

4. Below is a cost analysis of route compared with HE’s options, showing our proposal to be far cheaper to build.

5. Warcop & Musgrave Parish Councils



Date: 10th August 2021

To: The Herald, Cumbria Crack, Radio Cumbria, ITV Border News, BBC Look North Cumbria & Northeast, Westmorland Gazette and national newspapers

Contact: David Keetley, Chair Warcop Parish Council 0780 708 5513 or


Subject: Landscape damage threat from new A66 route.

Residents of the Musgrave, Warcop and Sandford in Cumbria are up in arms at the thought of huge wagons pounding down a new A66 highway only metres from their homes.  They dispute the choice of Highways England as the “preferred” route, saying it will disrupt their lives even more than the present single carriageway. The so called “best option” will also need massive engineering work at new junctions, affect a number of properties, and cost much more than it needs

The Appleby to Brough section forms part of the £1 billion scheme to dual all the remaining single carriageway sections between Penrith and Scotch Corner.

The residents maintain that they were only offered a single route option based on misleading information about discounted route options by Highways England. In their A66 Northern Trans-Pennine publication of summer 2019, on pages 30-31, Highways England offer reasons for rejecting five other route options. Point 4 discounted a route directly through the AONB “for environmental and ecology reasons. Considerable disruption was envisaged during the construction phase.” No examples of environmental or ecology impacts were given and in discussion with Highways England, this route was agreed to be the easiest and least disruptive scheme to build. Other options were discounted for AONB reasons and the impact on Warcop Roman Camp, which does not exist. Point 5 rejected a Flitholme option but current plans show a complex junction arrangement, link road extending to Langrigg which does exactly what HE says they were trying to avoid!

The Chairs of each Parish Council also object to this route on the grounds that it will bring a four-lane highway closer to properties, business and farms along the route thereby increasing air, noise and visual pollution.

While supporting the economic and safety reasons for dualling the road, local people feel that the Highways England route should be scrapped, and their alternative northern bypass option adopted instead. In a recent survey, 94% of residents supported a northern route compared to Highways England’s proposal. Billy Welsh, leader of the traveller community, also pointed out that “part of the route would run across Brough Fair Hill, an important historic and cultural site granted a charter in 1370. We will not allow this road to be built there, and fully support the alternative route that the two Parish Councils are proposing.”

Chair of Warcop Parish Council. David Keetley said “Essentially, we are demanding a northern bypass, using low-grade agricultural and rough land currently used by the MOD. We accept that some of it would have to go across AONB land, but we are the custodians of that land as we live here. This road will exist for hundreds of years, and we must protect our communities for future generations.” He added that the southern boundary of the AONB is completely arbitrary, simply using the fact that there was a road there, not based on the intrinsic beauty of the landscape.

As well as removing all the pollution threats, campaigners also point to the fact that their proposed northern route would be cheaper and easier to build, with far fewer unnecessary junctions, and freeing up the old A66 as a local access road for farm vehicles, cyclists, walkers, horse riders and non-motorised users.

“Only two main junctions would be required,” adds Mark Blackett-Ord, a fellow campaigner, “one near Café 66 and the other at Brough. Furthermore, our route takes it further away from historic monuments and ancient barrows to the south of the existing carriageway,”

“Natural England will only consider such a route through AONB in ‘exceptional circumstances,’ says Mr Keetley. “We believe our health and well-being are precisely the exceptional circumstances that must be met. Other schemes have been built through AONB so why not our bypass proposal?”

Ironically, having started the consultations saying that any new road could not go across MOD or AONB land, Highways England have now revised some parts of the route by doing exactly that. This embarrassing U-turn follows on from a recent controversy involving the infilling of a local bridge by Highways England at Musgrave, with some local groups saying there was no consultation, planning application or real need for the work.

A recent public meeting was held in Warcop attended by the MP for Penrith & The Borders, Dr Neil Hudson. Since then, he has thrown his weight behind the Norther route campaign. See this link to his press release:

MP stands with opponents to preferred A66 route – Cumberland and Westmorland Herald (cwherald.com)

He has also promised to raise the case with the MOD, Natural England and the Secretary of State, Grant Shapps, urging him to instruct Highways England to conduct a scoping exercise for the northern route option.

The campaign group intends to continue to lobby Highways England and politicians to press for the northern bypass and aim to start an online petition which will include the following points:

Landscape damage threat from new A66 route.

Highways England’s route for the proposed dual carriageway has been chosen for no other reason than to run just south of the existing A66, which is technically the southern boundary of the huge North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  We call for a properly engineered and landscaped route further north, across a small part of Warcop MoD Training Area.  Their proposal already strays a little on to the AONB, and it creates an unnecessarily huge and awkward structure (much of it 25 feet above ground level, for maximum pollution, and on a cramped site) with the following consequences:

  1. Their rebuilding is so close to the existing A66, as to make continued use of either road very difficult and expensive during the years of construction.
  2. It will completely destroy the heritage sites on the verge of the existing A66 (a Roman Road) and in particular, a bronze age barrow to the west and the site of the continuing medieval Brough Hill Fair to the east.
  3. The existing A66 (which is to be preserved as the local access road) is joined by four public roads from the villages to the south but none from the north which is MoD land. The proposal is that the dual carriageway will overlie all four of these roads, with overpasses and junctions for each, creating a visual mess on the very edge of an AONB.
  4. The route is close to the villages of Warcop and Flitholme and to several private residences and agricultural properties and passes through first-class ancient rural landscape of much greater value than the shabby MoD Training Area land.
  5. The water run-off from the new dual carriageways is all destined to flow into the Crooks Beck which passes through and regularly floods the village of Warcop. The proposal is to build some ponds to slow the additional water from the new run-off, but climate change is likely to make such arrangements inadequate.
  6. The cramped proposed route allows no provision for badly needed cyclist, pedestrian, and horse-drawn access.

None of these problems would occur if the route ran on a (cheaper and easier to build) path further to the north, which Highways England has declined to contemplate and so has not even investigated.

Should you require further information or would like to conduct an interview with local people affected by the plans, please contact me on this email address or telephone number at the top of this press release.

David Keetley

This is what Highways England says is its current preferred rout option between Appleby and Brough: