Mousen Bends dualling needs no further analysis

Sir Alan Beith wants a decision on the A1 speeded up.

Sir Alan Beith wants a decision on the A1 speeded up.

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Politicians have called for the Government to bring forward the decision on further dualling of the A1 in north Northumberland.

Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith and Lib Dem colleague Julie Pörksen want progress on the Mousen Bends scheme, near Belford, and between Morpeth and Felton.

Their call was made after they found out that no further analysis of the road at those points is needed by the Department of Transport.

Sir Alan said: “The Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP has told me he wants to see the work go ahead and the Transport Secretary also seems keen, so I want to see if we can get the decision-making speeded up and get a firm plan in place for starting the road upgrades we need here in Northumberland.”

Mrs Pörksen, speaking after a meeting of the A1 stakeholders’ group, said: “It is great news that the Department of Transport has all the information it needs on the Mousen Bends and Morpeth to Felton stretches of the A1.

“Officials have told me that they hope a decision will be made in time for the Autumn Statement but we are asking them to bring forward the decision on these stretches so work can get underway.

“Last week’s meeting was very constructive and shows that the issue of dualling the remaining sections of the A1 in Northumberland is firmly on the agenda but Sir Alan Beith and I will continue to keep up the pressure on the Government to get the road upgraded for the people who use it.”

Meanwhile, Dual the A1 campaign director and Conservative parliamentary candidate, Anne-Marie Trevelyan says an improved A1 is vital to securing jobs in the north east.

She said: “Encouraging employment figures released this month show that 54,000 jobs have been created in the north east since the last election. But although these figures are good, we can still go further.”

She believes the dualling of the A1 is a key driver for better job prospects in the region and that improved transport links between Morpeth and Berwick will go further than just north Northumberland, benefitting the region as a whole.

“To bring more jobs to the area, and get a better deal for Northumberland, we need to attract serious investment and to do that we need to improve our infrastructure,” said Ms Trevelyan.

The stakeholder reference group met at West Hartford Fire Station, near Cramlington, last Wednesday, to establish the scope of the feasibility study due to begin in July.

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