A1 dualling study set for this summer

Anne-Marie Trevelyan with Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport beside the A1 at Hebron.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan with Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport beside the A1 at Hebron.

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A Government feasibility study looking at the potential for dualling of the A1 road north of Newcastle will begin in July.

The Department for Transport’s review aims to establish whether there is a strong enough business case for dualling the remaining sections of the A1.

It will also consider the potential economic cases for other transport investment opportunities on the route.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Berwick and director of the ‘Dual the A1 campaign’, said: “I am pleased that this review will finally get underway.

“Many businesses, residents and campaigners have submitted their views in the early stages and I am grateful for their support on what is a vital safety and economic issue.

“I am confident that the Department for Transport is listening and taking note of our calls but we must keep going.

“I have met with officials at the DfT and Highways Agency frequently as part of this long-running campaign and I will keep on making the case for A1 dualling. I would also encourage others who may feel strongly about this issue to join the campaign.”

A further study will discern the extent of further investment that is likely to take place on the Newcastle Western Bypass.

North East Chamber of Commerce policy and research manager, Mark Stephenson, added: “We welcome these studies into important infrastructure projects that could greatly benefit regional business, improving connectivity as well as alleviating current traffic pinch points.

“Our members will be pleased to see the feasibility studies moving forward and it is now important that the momentum does not slow given the vital role that these links play for the north east economy.

“NECC will be working with the Department of Transport as it collates evidence on the unique problems that both routes face in the coming weeks, with a decision taken on the investment that both projects might receive later in the year.”

The Government identified the A1 north of Newcastle as one of the country’s most notorious and long-standing road hot spots in its 2013 Spending Review which outlined plans to triple the annual investment on major roads to over £3bn by 2020.

An A1 Multi-Modal Study (A1-MMS) carried out in 2002 concluded there was not an adequate justification on economic grounds to dual the whole of the remaining A1 north of Newcastle.

Proposals were developed to dual the eight mile section of road between Morpeth and Felton, and the 2.5 mile section between Adderstone and Belford but in 2006 neither were deemed a funding priority up to 2016.

Since then there have been a number of calls to revisit the case for dualling both in terms of addressing the accident record of the A1 but also in terms of improving connectivity between Newcastle and Scotland.

To view the study go to: www.gov.uk/government/publications/strategic-road-network-the-scope-of-6-feasibility-studies

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