Six new bypasses are likely to be built as part of Highways England’s preferred route for its £1 billion Trans-Pennine dualling transformation.

A number of major upgrades to dual the remaining 18 miles of single-carriageway on the A66 from Penrith to Scotch Corner are set to take place when the work is scheduled to get under way in 2024.

Senior project manager Matt Townsend gave his assurances the preferred route is in line with the consultation last year and that they will be in constant dialogue with landowners and communities affected.

In total 75 land owners are to be impacted with the high number of bypasses being needed to avoid demolishing building and changing the look of local settlements as much as possible.

A 2.5 mile section from Temple Sowerby to Crackenthorpe and the five-mile stretch from Appleby to Brough are seen as key to the scheme while the other bypasses include the three-mile stretch from Penrith to Temple Sowerby.

Three bypasses are scheduled for the east side of the Pennines at Bowes, Cross Lanes to Rokeby and from Stephen Bank to Carkin Moor while an underpass at Penrith’s congested Kemplay Bank roundabout also forms part of the plans.

Mr Townsend expressed his gratitude that 92.5 per cent of responses to the consultation were in favour of the work and said: “Work is continuing and has been without any impact from the Covid-19 epidemic thanks to our flexible ways of working and we are still planning on construction to take place in 2024/25. Members of the public may still see our vehicles along the route as we continue to survey the affected areas.

“This is a huge project, the biggest in the region since the M62 and it is important for all stakeholders in day to day life, whether that’s local communities and people seeing friends and families or haulage companies, it will open up travel from the east to the west and back, from Cumbria to Darlington, the Tees valley and surrounding areas.”

A total of 2333 people attended the 21 exhibitions last year with 854 consultation responses, 394 in paper form, 375 online, 84 via email and four posted.