In all the tumultuous debate by Gazette readers recently on whether the A1 should or shouldn’t be dualled, why it should be dualled and which politicians are or aren’t telling porkie pies, it appears to me that one important point has been overlooked.
How many gallons of ink will be used, how many print cartridges will run bone dry and how many fingers will tire at the repeated tapping of phones and keyboards if the work to upgrade the road in Northumberland actually started?
I believe many of you out there are just like me and love a really good moan – this column almost always involves me whingeing, often on the staples of local news in this part of the world – poo, potholes and parking.
But one topic takes top prize for causing us north Northumbrians to kick up a stink and rain down insults on all those we deem responsible – roadworks and the ensuing traffic chaos.
And won’t the work involved (think of the cones!) in dualling a major trunk road down the spine of the county cause us to really let loose.
I can’t wait for the number of opportunities I will have to chew Mrs C’s ear off – pretty much every time I leave the house and get in my car, I imagine, as perhaps the tailbacks will come right into town.
There, I’ve said it – I want the A1 in Northumberland to be dualled, not really because it’s the culmination of years of hoping and wishing by many, many people, but so that I have something to talk and write about for the foreseeable future.
Of course, I would back this up with the economic arguments, in terms of opening up the county to trade and investment, the safety aspects (although I concede the point that often bad driving is part of the cause) and the simple fact that it makes us feel that despite being hundreds of miles from the seat of power in this country, someone, somewhere has decided that we can expect what everyone else has in their parts of the country.
The roadworks that ensue may cause us a bit of bother now and then – we may even resort to having a grumble – but the time has come to take the plunge and dual the A1 in Northumberland.