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A66/A171 Cargo Fleet Junction improvements

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

A map showing the location of the Cargo Fleet Junction
© 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 Teesworks (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 Teesside with Guisborough, Whitby, and Scarborough.

Previous road layout

The previous road layout comprised 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 connected 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 were no signal-controlled pedestrian crossing facilities on either Cargo Fleet Lane or South Bank Road.

The old junction operated close to its practical capacity during the morning and evening peak periods.  This resulted in delays and congestion, increased journey times and reduced journey time reliability on two of the borough's – and the Tees Valley's – most strategically important roads.

New road layout

The new road layout comprises 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 a signal controlled crossroads at the junction of Cargo Fleet Lane and South Bank Road. The aerial photographs below show the new road layout:

An aerial photo of the new throughabout and surrounding roads at Cargo Fleet Junction An aerial photo of the new throughabout and surrounding roads at Cargo Fleet Junction

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 previous roundabout and, therefore, the ability of the junction to handle the expected increase in peak period traffic movements over the coming years. The throughabout was found to deliver the greatest benefits of all of the options tested.

The re-routing of A66 traffic through the centre of the roundabout has reduced 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 has been introduced to replace the previous 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 has ensured that the two junctions operate together as efficiently as possible. Just as importantly, it has allowed 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.

The new road layout has improved 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 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 outturn cost of the new road layout scheme is £4.403 million. £2.950 million of this total was secured from the National Productivity Investment Fund (administered by the Department for Transport), with a further £0.991 million secured from the Local Growth Fund (administered by the Tees Valley Combined Authority). The balance of £0.462 million has been met by Middlesbrough Council, funded from its Local Transport Capital Programme.

Construction programme

Works commenced on Monday 21 October 2019. Following a pause in construction in the period immediately following the national lockdown due to COVID-19, works restarted on a phased basis on Monday 4 May 2020.

The new road layout opened to traffic on Sunday 30 August 2020. Works to introduce high mast lighting on the section of the A66 between Middlehaven Interchange and the Cargo Fleet junction were completed on Friday 18 September 2020. 

Further information

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

If you have any specific queries about the scheme, please contact highway_improvements@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

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