Council Leader objects to Flyover Carbuncle at gateway to Lake District
Eden District Council’s Leader, Kevin Beaty has described Highways England’s proposals for a flyover outside Penrith to link two main roads as a 'carbuncle at the gateway to the Lake District'.
Councillor Beaty will put forward a motion at a full Council Meeting next Thursday (19 April 2018), seeking that Members strongly oppose any plans by Highways England for a flyover for Penrith. Any proposed flyover would be part of the A66 dualling from Scotch Corner to Penrith and join an improved A66 to the A6.
Councillor Beaty, said: "We fully support plans for dualling the A66 which is long overdue, but how this improved road meets the A6 is a critical part of how our District develops in the future. A flyover to join these two roads would be a carbuncle, a truly brutal measure at the gateway to the Lake District, which has recently been awarded World Heritage Status. Any flyover would undoubtedly ruin the views people enjoy of Eden District from within the National Park and from Penrith’s historic Beacon.
"We have grave concerns over the way in which traffic would move West along a new A66 to Junction 40 M6 and the integration of traffic on any proposed flyover could result in either danger to life or exacerbating existing major traffic hold-ups. The environmental impact of proposing more traffic around Kemplay Bank and Eamont Bridge would reduce air quality further for local residents and visitors, meaning the Council could have to create an Air Quality Management Zone, potentially resulting in road closures."
Any major road works in the Kemplay Bank and Eamont Bridge area would lead to major public facilities such as Penrith fire station, Cumbria Police headquarters, the Resilience Centre for Cumbria and the West Coast nuclear industry being impacted upon.
Eden District Council are in favour of alternative routes to join the improved A66 to the A6, which would run either to the North and East of Penrith or to the South of Penrith, these routes would increase the future economic potential of Penrith and are supported by local land owners and Town Councillors. In February 2018, the government supported these future growth concepts for Penrith by awarding the District Council £250,000 to use for multi-agency work to investigate the potential of what an new relief road to the East of Penrith could bring, by freeing up land for new homes and commercial land to create a higher wage local economy.
A new relief road to the East of Penrith would support the proposed growth for housing, employment, education, leisure and recreation and flood alleviation in accordance with government policy in the emerging revised National Planning Policy Framework. It would also reduce the use of the A66 around Penrith, thereby creating highway capacity for localised traffic to support future economic growth.
Councillor Beaty, added: "These are exciting times for the future development of the UK, with the Northern Power House and Borderlands Initiatives. The dualling of the A66 is a key part of this work. We have a shared responsibility to get the connections of the adjoining roads to an improved A66 right, so they are not only safer for road users, but the significant infrastructure investment also benefits local residents and the wider economy for future. Any proposed junction with a flyover would be totally detrimental to Eden’s future and I hope Highways England reconsider their proposals and that Members support my Motion on Notice next Thursday."
For more information about Eden District Council visit www.eden.gov.uk or call 01768 817817.