Tebay Gorge

Access Guide

The Organ of Corti will be installed in a layby on the A685 overlooking the M6 and the Tebay Gorge. A Park & Ride Scheme will be in operation from Westmorland Services to the site of the installation. See online booking (after Tuesday 31 May) for details.

The road noise produced by the M6 at this location (mostly tyre noise) is a broad spectrum of frequencies and of all the sites surveyed for the Organ of Corti in October 2010 is the most suitable.

The site also has another history which makes it suitable for the project.

The layby (funded by the Rees Jeffries Road fund) was originally constructed as a viewing point to overlook the motorway and is the site of a civic trust dedication awarded for the environmental achievement of the 36 miles of the M6 motorway that forms the M6 corridor through Cumbria. The Tebay Gorge is its most iconic site and the passage of landscape between here and Penrith is the gateway to the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. The location offers an opportunity to connect with the heritage of the site and the pride originally taken in the construction at a time when the area is being considered for designation with the Lake District National Park boundary. If awarded it will be the first motorway to be included within a National Park.

The citation reads:

It would be easier to produce a sensitive design for a major road through fine countryside if the label 'Motorway' could be avoided. The statutory requirements for a road labelled thus, with its vast width and paraphernalia of pull-off strips, crash barriers, etc, make the task virtually impossible. It is arguable that in Westmorland well-separated, contour-fitted carriageways of two lanes, with pull offs on to reinforced grass, would have made a satisfactory compromise between the demands of traffic and the environment, as on many roads carrying this volume of traffic. Within the terms of reference, however, the designers of the M6 through Westmorland have gone a long way towards achieving the impossible. The road is designed to follow the contours of the ground as closely as its vast width will allow. Use has also been made of contour separation, and in the Tebay-Shap section - possibly the best section of the road - the carriageways are separated to such an extent that agriculture can continue between. The bridges are simple in design and constructed in one material, concrete, which fits reasonably well into the stone country. Landscaping is very restrained to avoid the intrusion of a 'foreign' element which would emphasize the road, and it is hoped that the surrounding vegetation will spread on to verges. Signs and clutter are kept to a minimum on the road

This area is currently under consideration for inclusion in the Lake District National Park.