Highways England has been confirmed as the latest organisation to become one of Cumbria Tourism’s official Strategic Partners.
Highways England is making a long-term commitment to the county’s tourism industry with the new ten-year agreement, joining a select group of influential tourism-related businesses who share Cumbria Tourism’s core values and desire to rebuild – and grow – the value of the county’s tourism economy.
The government company is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the country’s motorways and major A roads – like the M6 and A590 in Cumbria – and is currently preparing to unveil a public consultation on £1bn improvements to the A66 between Penrith and Scotch Corner later this year.
The plan to finish dualling the 50-mile section of the A66 between the M6 in Cumbria and A1(M) in North Yorkshire is/will be one of the biggest ever construction projects ever undertaken in the North and will boost the economic prospects of the region, including the tourism sector.
The company has an office in Penrith, several maintenance and winter service depots along routes across the county and two ‘outstations’ along the M6 near Carlisle and Kendal from where its traffic officers patrol the motorway.
Project Director Lee Hillyard says: “We’re delighted to be joining Cumbria Tourism’s ‘team’ of strategic partners, in effect formalising our commitment to supporting the tourism economy of the county. The strategic road network is vital to connecting communities, commuters, businesses and of course visitors right across Cumbria.
“We’ve recognised from the outset that the A66 across the Pennines is one of the most important cross-country trade routes anywhere in the UK and important to tourism in Cumbria and Tees Valley. Dualling the remaining single carriageway sections of the road will help transform cross-country journeys, supporting Northern Powerhouse aspirations for better, less-congested connections and economic prosperity and sustainability.”
Jim Walker, Chairman of Cumbria Tourism, comments, “We are proud to be one of the UK’s largest member Destination Management Organisations and our Strategic Partners are a core network of organisations who want to get behind us share their collective expertise to champion the delivery of effective destination marketing for the county.
“A safe and resilient transport network and infrastructure is fundamentally important to our £3.1billion tourism economy and it is fantastic to welcome Highways England on board as a Strategic Partner. We look forward to drawing on their experience and enthusiasm to help drive forward our world-class destination for the future and make it an even better place for those visiting and living in the area.”
Highways England joins a core network of fifteen other Strategic Partners, who are all highly respected and regarded across the tourism and hospitality industry:
- United Utilities (Cumbria Tourism patron)
- The Cumberland
- Forestry England
- Grasmere Gingerbread
- Lake District Estates
- Lake District National Park
- Lamont Pridmore
- NFU Mutual
- Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire
- Thomson Hayton Winkley
- University of Cumbria
- Windermere Lake Cruises