Press Release

Balfour Beatty set to collaborate on the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine upgrade works

13 October 2022


Balfour Beatty, in partnership with Atkins, is pleased to have been selected by National Highways to deliver critical upgrade works to the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine route, alongside Costain, Keltbray and Kier, following the Planning Inspectorate accepting the projects Development Consent Order application.

The project, which is subject to approval from the Secretary of State in 2023, would see the dualling of the remaining 18-mile single carriageway sections and key junctions between the M6 Junction 40 at Penrith and the A1 at Scotch Corner improved under National Highway’s Delivery Integration Partnership Framework.

During this time, Balfour Beatty will work alongside National Highways and the three other contractors to develop the detailed design of the project, integrating sustainable solutions such as the use of electric and hydrogen powered machinery to reduce carbon emissions by up to 30%.

If approved, the project – valued in its entirety at £1.3 billion – would form a key part of the UK Government’s National Infrastructure Strategy, ‘Project Speed’, the UK Government’s plan to speed up work on major infrastructure projects and stimulate the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic.

On completion, the improved A66 Northern Trans-Pennine route will reduce delays and queues and improve the performance of key junctions such as the A66/A6 and the M6 Junction 40. In addition, the improvement works will reconnect communities and link villages along the route, while also improving connections for people living and working nearby, providing better access to services such as healthcare, jobs and education.

Phil Clifton, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Highways business, said: “Today marks an important milestone in the delivery of the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project. This vital piece of infrastructure for the North will not only improve national connectivity, but will provide faster, faster and more reliable journeys for road users across the UK.

“Throughout, we will utilise our longstanding expertise in delivering essential road upgrade works, whilst also leaving a lasting positive legacy for local communities; working with local supply chain partners and creating numerous employment opportunities.”

Lee Hillyard, National Highways’ A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Project Director, said: “We are delighted to welcome Costain, Keltbray, Kier and Balfour Beatty and we look forward to working with them on the biggest generational investment on the north’s road network. 

“We have worked with all four contractors previously and know the quality of their work. The signing of the contracts is a huge step in the delivery of such a big scheme and it is an important milestone for the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project.”

Should National Highway’s proposals be approved as a result of the Planning Inspectorate’s process, and the Secretary of State’s decision given next year, work on the project is expected to start in 2024.


Media enquiries to:
Henry Dummett
Balfour Beatty
+44 (0)203 810 2345 | follow us @balfourbeatty

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Notes to editors:

  • Balfour Beatty is a leading international infrastructure group with 24,500 employees driving the delivery of powerful new solutions, shaping thinking, creating skylines and inspiring a new generation of talent to be the change-makers of tomorrow.
  • We finance, develop, build, maintain and operate the increasingly complex and critical infrastructure that supports national economies and deliver projects at the heart of local communities. 
  • Over the last 113 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including: the £1.5 billion A14 improvement scheme - Britain’s biggest road project; Hong Kong’s HK$5.5 billion world-class harbour theatre project for the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority; and the 12.5 mile $429 million North Metro Commuter Rail line in Colorado, US.
  • Balfour Beatty’s highways business designs, constructs and manages many of the UK’s major highways, implementing innovative technologies and sustainable solutions to deliver the best results. The business also delivers complex Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Early Contractor Involvement schemes.
  • Through constant innovation and the use of cutting-edge technology, Balfour Beatty supports clients to create more reliable and safer journeys, better connecting communities and delivering an optimal highways experience to the travelling public.

Mohsin Sufi

Media and PR Executive