Dualling of the A1 through Northumberland could result in 2,000 new jobs, 12,000 new homes and generate £376 million for the local economy.
Those are the headline findings of a new study by Northumberland County Council which has been passed on to the Department for Transport and Highways Agency.
Councillor Grant Davey, council leader, said: “This is the first time the council has carried out a detailed examination of the potential wider economic benefits of dualling.
“This is a key issue both for local people and the business community. We are keen to build a business case for dualling the A1 in Northumberland as well as looking at the case for investment in other transport projects along the route.
“This has been a long-standing priority for the council and we believe dualling will address accident problems, reduce delays and bring clear economic benefits.”
The Government is currently carrying out a feasibility study on potential improvements on the 50-mile route between Berwick and Morpeth.
Its outcome is expected to be announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
“We are fully in support of the Highways Agency and the DfT study and will be working hard to make our case at national level,” said Councillor Davey.
The county council’s study outlines several potential benefits of dualling.
These include promoting sustainable growth along the A1 route with better connections between markets.
Officers also say it would support and promote growth across a range of high quality business locations and service and manufacturing sector companies.
Dualling could also reduce business costs and attract new businesses to Northumberland and the wider region as the road network becomes more reliable and efficient. It could also enable economies of scale and critical mass in employment growth areas, complement roads investment in Tyne and Wear and North Yorkshire and bolster the case for more investment north of the border.