A North East firm of chartered surveyors and land specialists is calling for urgent clarity over the latest plans to dual the A66 following completion of a public consultation.
David Coulson, a senior surveyor with County Durham-based Vickers & Barrass, commented on plans of proposed changes to the A66, after more than 2,000 people attended public consultation events and others gave their views by post and online.
Highways England is planning to fully dual sections of the road between Penrith and Scotch Corner, which include six single carriageway sections and total 18 miles of the complete 50-mile route.
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Mr Coulson wants clarity and reassurance for the clients he represents along the proposed route.
He said farmers and landowners impacted by the scheme should be looking at how they will be affected by any lost income and interruptions to their businesses in addition to a claim if land and property is acquired and if necessary, they should seek professional guidance to ensure compensation claims are properly prepared.
While dualling will also bring improved benefits to journey time reliability and safety, he wants to see greater consideration for access for residents and businesses as part of plans to connect nearby villages and towns.
An announcement on the preferred route will be made next spring, accompanied by a report on this year’s consultation and further statutory consultation and planning stages.
The senior surveyor said: “The picture remains unclear and local livelihoods are at stake.
“It’s important that any disturbance and impact on businesses are kept to a minimum as Highways England prepares its final plans.”
Senior Project Manager for the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine scheme, Matt Townsend said: “We have already been working for many months, long before this year’s consultation, to engage with local property and landowners and renters to ‘map’ land and properties which may be affected by any proposals.
“At this year’s consultation events we had specialist staff on hand to speak to people who felt they might be affected by any of the different options. While we don’t want to stop anyone seeking independent advice we’d urge anyone who feels they are not on our ‘radar’ to come and speak to us first.”
Information, including an opportunity to sign up for regular updates, can be found on the project page at https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a66-northern-trans-pennine.
Or telephone the customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.