Drivers in Cumbria are being advised the Tour of Britain cycle race next week will affect some journeys on the A66 around Penrith.
The Prudhoe to Hartside Stage 5 on Thursday (10 September) heads south west from the Cumbrian border near Brampton towards Ullswater before taking the lakeside route north east towards and then through Penrith.
Although the race itself is confined to local A and B roads, it will cross the A66 twice during the event – with traffic on the road stopped by police for up to 30 minutes at each location to allow the cyclists to make the crossings safely.
Highways England Events Planning Manager Phil Stockford said:
This is a prestigious and highly popular spectator event but we are working hard to minimise disruption to drivers’ journeys.
However, drivers should be aware that traffic on the A66 may be stopped on 2 occasions during the afternoon as the cyclists cross the A66. We are hoping that will be only for 10 to 15 minutes but it could be up to half an hour.
We urge anyone who is going to be using the A66 around Penrith on Thursday afternoon to check traffic conditions before setting out on journeys and also take extra care once they are on the route with the race itself and spectator traffic in the area.
The first, southbound, crossing from the B5288 over the A66 at Beckes junction, near Penruddock, will take place around 2pm before the cyclists head for Ullswater. The cyclists will then set off north east along the lake towards the M6 and cross it using the B5320 overbridge just south of junction 40 - then heading onto the northbound A6. At around 2.30pm the cyclists will again cross the A66 - at Kemplay Roundabout - before continuing along the A6 into Penrith town centre.
Highways England has been working closely with the event organisers and Cumbria Police to minimise disruption to drivers. It has already set electronic signs at junction 40 of the M6 at Penrith and along the A66 itself to warn drivers of the race.
The signs will also be used to warn drivers of any congestion during the event while Highways England traffic officers will be positioned at junction 40 of the M6 to help manage any traffic issues.
Highways England is advising motorway users to check the latest travel information before setting out as well as listening for radio traffic alerts and heeding electronic signs once they are on the move.
Drivers can get up-to-the-minute traffic information by calling Highways England’s customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000 or by checking our website
Live information on incidents or congestion will also be available from Twitter @HighwaysNWEST.
The race also visits Cumbria earlier in the tour with Stage 3 on Tuesday (8 September) taking place between Cockermouth and Kelso. However, the racing is taking place on Cumbria County Council’s local roads away from the strategic roads network. More information about the Tour and local roads in Cumbria is available on their website
Full information about the Tour of Britain itself is available on their website
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.