Residents repeat concerns about A66 junction after fatal accident

The Ravensworth junction on the A66.

Campaigners have called for urgent talks with road bosses after another serious accident near a notorious junction on the A66.

One 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.

A diagram showing crashes on the stretch between 2012 and 2017.

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

In a statement issued this week by residents Ken Bell and Malcolm Burgess, on behalf of the action group, the residents said they had been campaigning for improvements to the New Lane junction since early 2017.

They said: “We have been given welcome support from Rishi Sunak MP and more recently from North Yorkshire Police.

“We welcomed the news in June 2018 that a trial speed limit reduction was to be implemented (60 mph reduced to 50 mph), but at the same time were informed that a scheme to implement an improved road layout for the New Lane junction had been dropped by Highways England.”

They added: “Just over a week ago our worst fears came to pass when another serious accident occurred at the New Lane junction, resulting in the death of one person and very serious injuries to another.

“Two members of our local community were amongst the first to arrive on the scene immediately after the collision, an extremely harrowing experience for them too.

“The air ambulance was called and one of the victims was transported to hospital for urgent medical attention. The A66 was closed for most of the day with huge disruption to transport and the wider regional economy.

“Local village roads were again clogged up with traffic seeking an alternative route, before the police were able to implement formal diversions at Bowes and Scotch Corner.”

The proposed improved New Lane junction layout which will now not be implemented.

The campaigners add that while they have had support from the MP and North Yorkshire Police they have had “extremely limited contact” with Highways England.

We understand that Highways England (Leeds) are currently in a dialogue with Rishi Sunak about these matters, amongst others, but on behalf of our community we now request a face-to-face meeting with Highways England to discuss what can be done to improve the New Lane junction during the intervening period until the A66 dual carriageway conversion project has been completed, which is understood to be five to ten years from now.