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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 a competitive tender process, contractor A E Yates Ltd has been appointed to deliver the scheme on behalf of the council. Completion of the scheme is set for late spring 2020.

View the construction programme for the scheme

The section of Cargo Fleet Lane between the A66 and South Bank Road will remain closed whilst works are underway, with traffic diverted via South Bank Road and Middlesbrough Road. A secondary diversion is in operation 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

As of Monday 6 January, it is no longer possible for vehicles to turn right or U-turn at the A66 Roundabout. Cambridge Road and Works Road are operating on a 'left in, left out' basis, with access to both roads only available from the A66 (Eastbound). Drivers travelling on the A66 (Westbound) who need to access Cambridge Road or Works Road should continue to the Middlehaven Interchange and then turn back towards Cargo Fleet on the A66 (Eastbound). Drivers travelling on Cambridge Road or Works Road who need to access the A66 (Westbound) should head east on the A66 to the Old Station Road Roundabout in South Bank, and then turn back towards Cargo Fleet on the A66 (Westbound). Both diversion routes are clearly signposted.

Two lanes will be maintained in each direction on the A66 between 7am and 7pm from Monday to Saturday throughout the works period, with a temporary 30mph speed limit in operation to ensure the safety of road users and site operatives. Camera enforcement is being carried out in order to maximise compliance with the reduced speed limit.

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. Drivers are, therefore, asked to allow additional time for their journey, and to exercise caution when passing the works area.

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