Highways England has awarded a contract to Amey Consulting, in partnership with Arup, to help transform the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine route.

Under the £45m A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Design Partner contract, the team will be responsible for the design and development of the upgrade programme.

Transitioning into a Technical Adviser role, Amey and Arup will work alongside Highways England during detailed design and construction phases, once the scheme gets approval.

The investment to dual the remaining single carriageway sections of the A66 is expected to improve journey times and driver experiences while improving safety.

Highways England senior project manager Matt Townsend said: “This is one of the biggest-ever investments in the strategic road network in the North.

“We’re looking forward to working alongside Amey Consulting with Arup in the coming years to deliver safer, quicker and more reliable A66 journeys for the communities and businesses it serves across the North and further afield.”

The A66 is a trans-Pennine link that connects Scotch Corner on the A1(M) with Penrith on the M6 and serves as the route of choice for long distance drivers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the East of England.

As part of the route upgrade programme, the team will dual the remaining six single carriageway sections of the A66 between the M6 and A1(M).

In addition, capacity improvements will be introduced and delays reduced at the M6 J40 and A6 / A66 junction (Penrith) and at the A1(M) / A66 junction (Scotch Corner).

The upgrade programme will also improve safety on the route, minimise physical barriers for communities and improve strategic regional and national connectivity.

Together, Amey and Arup are currently working to design the dualling of a 26-mile section of the A96 in Scotland after securing a £50m contract award in 2017.

Last month, Highways England awarded British construction and engineering firm Costain a £210m contract to upgrade a section of the A30 road in Cornwall, the UK.