Dualling of A1 can’t come soon enough

Emergency services at the scene of the A1 crash. Picture by Steve Miller
Emergency services at the scene of the A1 crash. Picture by Steve Miller
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One of the most notorious single-carriageway stretches of the A1 has claimed another victim after a man was killed in a head-on crash last week.

The collision, on Friday morning, took place south of the B6347 South Charlton junction on a section of the road due to be dualled under the plans announced in December last year.

Inevitably, the death of the 44-year-old man, whose details have not yet been released by police, has refocused attention on the scheme to dual the entire road between Morpeth and Ellingham.

When the Prime Minister announced the £290million project in December during a visit to Northumberland, he confirmed that the money was there for the Highways Agency to spend immediately on the necessary preparations.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the agency confirmed that the initial work is progressing.

She said: “We are taking forward plans to upgrade the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham and to improve the performance and safety of the A1 north of Ellingham; we are currently in the early planning stage after which we will develop any options in more detail. We will keep the public fully informed.”

Emergency services were called to the scene of Friday’s incident at 8.25am after a van and a car collided near South Charlton. One man was given blood at the scene and anaesthetised before being flown to the RVI in Newcastle by the Great North Air Ambulance, but he later died some time between Friday evening and Saturday morning.

A second man was taken to Wansbeck General Hospital with less serious injuries.

Both carriageways of the A1 were closed between the B6347 South Charlton junction and the A1068 Alnwick junction for six hours.

The collision took place not far from another fatal crash, which killed 32-year-old Alex Gibson in 2011. His father, also Alex, launched Project Alexander to push for dualling.