A1 reaction: Will this time be any different?

Ellingham junction of the A1 25 miles south of Berwick, where the dual road will become single carriageway
Ellingham junction of the A1 25 miles south of Berwick, where the dual road will become single carriageway
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Hopes on dualling the A1 have been raised and dashed many times so it is no wonder some are sceptical as to whether it will actually progress.

But Mr Cameron has assured us that the money is available to be spent now on the necessary preparations.

A proposal to upgrade the whole of the A1 to motorway status was investigated by the Government in 1989, but was dropped in 1995, along with many other schemes.

Prior to the 1992 General Election, then Transport Secretary Malcolm Rifkind made a commitment to dual the whole of the A1 between Newcastle and Edinburgh, but nothing happened.

Chancellor Ken Clarke’s budget in 2006 forced the Department of Transport to put on hold a £22million scheme to dual seven miles of the A1 at Felton for 10 to 15 years.

In December 2004 – a decade ago – hopes were raised as the dualling of the sections between Morpeth and Felton and Adderstone and Belford were earmarked by the Government for ‘progress’, but plans were shelved in 2006 as they were not considered a regional priority by central government.

In May 2011, it was announced that the A1 north of Newcastle to the Scottish Border had been made a route of strategic national importance, meaning that instead of upgrades being funded from regional transport allocations, money would come from the national pot, as seen this week.