Visit of transport secretary raises fresh hopes for dualling of the A1
POLITICIANS have welcomed the Secretary of State for Transport to Northumberland to see the state of the A1 for himself.
Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, director of the Dual the A1 campaign, met with Patrick McLoughlin during his regional tour to stress the importance of dualling.
Sir Alan said: ““He stressed the importance of the study currently being carried out by the Department for Transport at the request of Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.
“I stressed to him that the strategic importance of the A1 to the north east of England and east of Scotland made it a prime contender for job creation investment.
“We discussed the specific schemes on which work has already been prepared (the Mousen Bends near Belford and the Morpeth to Felton stretch) but which were abandoned by the previous Labour government. He and other ministers know I will press them repeatedly on this issue until we see work beginning on the ground.”
Mrs Trevelyan added: “I was very encouraged by the new Secretary of State’s attitude to our campaign. He was clearly well informed about the issues which we have raised in our campaigning work, and brought with him senior staff from the Highways Agency so that we could discuss the details of the proposed works needed.”
She has specifically called on the Department for Transport to carry out a review which would update the costings and then consider improvements by tackling two sections to begin with.
Mrs Trevelyan said: “Firstly is the Adderstone-Belford stretch, which is not an expensive piece of work, but would reduce safety risks dramatically, and break up the long single carriageway stretch from Berwick to Alnwick.
“Secondly, is the first part of the single carriageway stretch past Tritlington, in order to try to make Newcastle to Alnwick all dualled. There is a technical challenge to widening the bridge over the Coquet which may require longer-term planning, but dualling to this point would open up freight traffic usage to Alnwick in the first instance.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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