Highways bosses consider removing hedgerows at dangerous A66 junction

The Ravensworth junction on the A66.

Highways bosses say they are considering removing hedgerows to improve visibility at a notorious accident blackspot on the A66.

Campaigners this week called for urgent talks with Highways England after a woman was killed and another person seriously injured on the trans-Pennine route near the Ravensworth New Lane junction on March 22.

The stretch of road and the junction in particular have been the scene of numerous serious accidents in recent years.

Local residents have formed the Ravensworth A66 Action Group to push for changes to the road layout.

The stretch of road is single carriageway and is due to be made into dual carriageway in the future.

However, residents say improvements need to be made urgently ahead of the dualling work.

In response to the residents’ concerns a Highways England spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with everyone involved in the fatal incident on 22 March. As a police investigation is underway it is not appropriate for us to comment further on the incident at this time.

“Safety is our highest priority and we are committed to improving safety at this location. In August 2018 we carried out road patching work along this stretch of the A66 and refreshed sections of the road lining.

“A further refresh of lining in this area will start in the next few weeks. We are also looking into options to increase visibility at the Ravensworth junction by removing the hedgerows.

“A temporary 50mph speed limit was introduced in October 2018 and we have just completed a survey looking at the rate of compliance within the area.

“The results of this survey will help determine what further measures can be undertaken and we will be working with the local authority and the police to pursue enforcement options.”