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A66/A171 Cargo Fleet Junction improvements

The A66/A171 Cargo Fleet Junction is located approximately two kilometres to the east of Middlesbrough town centre, as shown on the plan below:


© Crown copyright and database rights Ordnance Survey 2019

The A66 is the busiest east-west route in the Borough, with the section immediately to the west of the Cargo Fleet junction carrying around 50,000 vehicles on a typical weekday. As well as serving the town centre, the A66 plays a key strategic role in connecting the A19 and A1(M) Trunk Roads to the west with Teesport and the South Tees Development Corporation site to the east. A171 Cargo Fleet Lane is one of the Borough’s busiest north-south routes, serving east Middlesbrough and linking the town centre with Guisborough, Whitby and Scarborough.

Current situation

The existing highway layout comprises a large, partially signalised roundabout at the junction of the A66 and A171 Cargo Fleet Lane, together with a smaller, unsignalised roundabout at the junction of Cargo Fleet Lane and South Bank Road. A signal-controlled pedestrian crossing facility connects the businesses on Cambridge Road (on the north side of the A66) with Cargo Fleet Lane and South Bank Road (on the south side of the A66). There are no signal-controlled pedestrian crossing facilities on either Cargo Fleet Lane or South Bank Road.

The A66/A171 junction currently carries around 5,000 vehicles per hour during the morning and evening peak periods, and operates close to its practical capacity at such times. This frequently results in delays and congestion, increasing journey times and reducing journey time reliability on two of the Borough’s most strategically important roads – and, potentially, constraining future economic growth across the Tees Valley.

Proposed scheme

The proposed scheme comprises the introduction of a ‘throughabout’ – a signalised roundabout with two lanes of traffic in each direction running through the middle of it – at the A66/A171 Cargo Fleet Lane junction, together with the introduction of a signal controlled crossroads at the junction of Cargo Fleet Lane and South Bank Road. The aerial image below shows how the reconfigured junction will look:

The throughabout was developed following detailed microsimulation modelling work carried out in order to test a number of potential options designed to improve the capacity of the existing roundabout and, therefore, its ability to handle the expected increase in peak period traffic movements between now and 2025. The throughabout was found to deliver the greatest benefits of the options tested, effectively mitigating the impact of the growth in traffic predicted over the next six years due to new residential and commercial developments both in Middlesbrough and the wider Tees Valley area.

The re-routing of A66 traffic through the centre of the roundabout will reduce the volume of traffic using the circulatory carriageway, making it easier for drivers to enter the junction from Cambridge Road and Works Road. A new signal controlled pedestrian crossing facility will be introduced to replace the existing route linking the north and south sides of the junction.

The introduction of a signalised crossroads at the Cargo Fleet Lane/South Bank Road junction will ensure that the two junctions operate together as efficiently as possible. Just as importantly, it will allow signal-controlled pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities to be introduced, providing a safe and direct route for users of Route 1 of the National Cycle Network – which runs along South Bank Road – and, by doing so, improving cycle connectivity between Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland.

Once operational, the new road layout will improve the capacity and resilience of both junctions, reducing journey times and improving journey time reliability, particularly during the busy morning and evening peak periods. CCTV cameras at both junctions will allow their operation to be monitored continuously, whilst the introduction of an uninterruptable power supply will ensure that the traffic signals continue to operate in the event of an unexpected failure in the mains supply.

The estimated cost of the proposed scheme is £4.425 million. £2.950 million has been secured from the National Productivity Investment Fund (administered by the Department for Transport), with a further £1.013 million secured from the Local Growth Fund (administered by the Tees Valley Combined Authority). The remaining £0.462 million will be met by Middlesbrough Council, funded from its Local Transport Capital Programme.

Construction programme and temporary traffic management

Following the completion of a competitive tender process, contractor A E Yates Ltd has been appointed to deliver the scheme on behalf of the Council. A E Yates is based just outside Bolton, and has delivered numerous major highway projects across the north of England.

The start date and construction programme for the scheme have now been confirmed, together with the temporary traffic management arrangements for the initial phase of works between now and December.

Works will commence on Monday 21 October 2019, with completion programmed for late spring 2020. The section of Cargo Fleet Lane between the A66 and South Bank Road will be closed from Monday 21 October onwards, with traffic diverted via South Bank Road and Middlesbrough Road.

A secondary diversion will also be signed via A1085 Longlands Road and the A172 Longlands Spur Road to cater for traffic movements between Cargo Fleet Lane and the A66 (west).

View a plan showing the extent of the road closure and the primary and secondary diversion routes

Two lanes will be maintained in each direction on the A66 between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday inclusive, throughout the works period, with a temporary 30mph speed limit in operation to ensure the safety of road users and site operatives. Vehicular access to surrounding properties will be maintained at all times, as will pedestrian access from South Bank Road to Cambridge Road.

Every effort will be made to minimise disruption to the travelling public whilst works are underway. However, given the scale of the scheme and the high volume of traffic that uses the junction on a daily basis, delays on the surrounding road network are inevitable, particularly during the first few days as drivers adjust their travel patterns. Drivers are, therefore, asked to allow additional time for their journey, and to exercise caution when passing the works area

‘Blaze’ – the artwork in the centre of the A66/Cargo Fleet Lane roundabout – will be removed as part of the scheme. The artwork will be placed in storage in the short term, with a view to reinstalling it elsewhere in the borough as and when a suitable location can be found.

Further information

Reports on the microsimulation modelling work undertaken during development of the scheme are available:

The information on this page will be updated on a regular basis throughout the life of the project. If you have any specific queries about the scheme, please contact highway_improvements@middlesbrough.gov.uk.