The newly formed Scottish A1 Action Group has laid out its reasons why the road between Berwick and Edinburgh should be dualled.
The group has been formed in response to the Government’s recent announcement of plans to improve the A1 in Northumberland.
Its inaugural meeting focused on four main issues affecting road travel along the east coast through Berwickshire and East Lothian: the potential to increase business opportunities; the A1 being the ‘all weather’ link between Newcastle and Edinburgh; poor journey times between the two cities; and the prospect of an increase in off-shore renewables traffic.
The group is contacting Transport Scotland and Edinburgh Council to try and get them on board and support the setting up of a feasibility study.
South of Scotland businesses, Scottish Borders Council, East Lothian Council and local MSPs are all on board with the action group’s aims. Berwickshire Area Forum has also said that Berwickshire community councils should be represented.
Coun Joan Campbell was clear that “it’s an economic case rather than a safety one for the A1” that is more likely to result in positive outcome and the dualling of the A1.
Forum chairman, Coun Michael Cook, pointed out that they were looking at both dualling and more immediate safety issues at junctions of the A1.
“This is about priorities as there is limited funding,” he said. “We are probably talking about a ten year time horizon for dualling.”
In June, Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, announced a feasibility study into improving the road south of the border.
It could mean that a long-running campaign to upgrade 40 miles of single-carriageway road between Morpeth and Berwick is close to victory.