Roads Minister Andrew Jones says there is a "national pinch point" between Cumbria and the North East when it comes to road transport.
He's in Carlisle today, to look at plans to turn two major Cumbrian roads, the A69 and A66, into dual carriageways:
The key thing here is we know we have a national pinch point. We want to improve the east to west connections in the north of our country.
And how do we do that is the question we've asked. And we've asked it in a strategic study, which is going to report next year, and that will form part of our thinking in how we construct future road investment schemes."
The government's Roads Minister will visit Carlisle to hear about proposals to turn the A66, A69 or both roads into dual carriageways.
Cumbrian councillors and business leaders are warning the county could be left behind, unless more powers are transferred north.