No plans for dualling

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FURTHER confirmation was given last week that the Government has no plans to dual the A1 north of Newcastle in the near future.

In a written answer to a question from Newcastle East MP Nick Brown in the Commons last Thursday, transport minister Mike Penning said: “This Government have not considered any specific proposals to upgrade the A1 north of Newcastle.”

He referred to the Department for Transport’s plans for investment on the strategic road network as set out in the document Investment in Highways Transport Schemes.

This details the continuing work, work to start before 2015 and future work on major routes and includes a number of sections of the M1 and M25.

There will be £1.4billion for new strategic road schemes between now and 2015 but the A1 north of Newcastle is not included in any of the plans.

According to the document, ‘the main aim has been to ensure that each scheme provides good value for public money.’

Mr Penning’s response also made reference to the recent consultation on the proposal to upgrade the status of the A1 north of Newcastle to a Route of Strategic National Importance, which closed in December last year.

He wrote: “We are considering the views submitted and will publish our formal response in due course.”