MP Sir Alan Beith pressed the case for A1 dualling at a meeting in Morpeth today organised by the Department of Transport (DfT) and Highways Agency officials.
After the meeting, Sir Alan said: “It appears that the main emerging options that will be put to Ministers by officials are likely to involve dualling from Morpeth to Felton, and possibly as far as the North Charlton dual carriageway, but with a less favourable rating for full dualling of sections further north.
“Any additional dualling will be welcome, but if bad sections like the Mousen bends are not dealt with, it does not send a clear message to business that Northumberland and Eastern Scotland are part of the strategic road network. And full dualling should be the ultimate objective. I will continue to press this case.”
In April, we reported that the DfT had released a document outlining the study which will detail proposals for the dualling of the A1 north of Newcastle.
The scope document explained that the first part of the feasibility study, looking at the range of proposals, should have been completed by the end of July with the second part, on issues such as affordability and value for money, due to be finished by the autumn.
It states that ‘the study will include consideration of the proposals to dual the A1 between Morpeth and Felton and proposals to dual the A1 between Adderstone and Belford’. The study will be completed in advance of what is hoped will be a positive announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
Meanwhile, a Northumberland County Council report, released last month and passed on to the DfT and Highways Agency, stated that dualling the A1 north of Morpeth could generate £376million for the local economy. The study also estimates that transforming the road could result in the creation of 2,000 jobs and 12,000 new homes.