Road upgrades are good for business

Prime Minister David Cameron, Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate  Anne Marie Trevelyan near the A1, north of Morpeth, and Regional Director Highways Agency Jeremy Bloom.
Prime Minister David Cameron, Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Anne Marie Trevelyan near the A1, north of Morpeth, and Regional Director Highways Agency Jeremy Bloom.

The region’s largest business membership organisation has backed road upgrades across the North East to help the region deliver more to UK Plc.

North East Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, James Ramsbotham, said: “We welcome the announcements made ahead of the Autumn Statement, particularly the upgrades to the A1 North of Newcastle, A19 in Teesside and the feasibility studies announced for the A69 and A66.

“Successive governments have failed to capitalise on the potential and huge capacity of increased development in the North of our region and upgrading this vital stretch of road will go some way to addressing that. North East business is driving forward growth and creating jobs and the estimated £900m plus of infrastructure announcements that have been approved for our region in the last 18 months is a necessary step change.

“However, it must not be forgotten that the North East is still a long way short of receiving the levels of infrastructure investment that will help to unlock further growth and job creation relative to other areas of the country. It is only by levelling the playing field in this way that we can be assured the private sector can reach its full potential in a region with enormous capacity for further growth.”

* The Institute of Directors North East has also welcomed the pledge to upgrade the A1 in Northumberland as an important step forward in creating the world-class infrastructure the Prime Minister has pledged for the region.

Graham Robb, chairman of IoD North East, said: “The confirmation of upgrades to the A1 in Northumberland is excellent news for the North East. IoD members in the region recently named transport infrastructure as their number one priority for the region, and it is easy to see why. Improved transport links with the rest of the UK, as well as within the region itself, will help the North East to achieve its economic potential. Now that we have a commitment to improving our roads, we need Network Rail and the new franchise holders of the East Coast Mainline to fund electrification between Middlesbrough and Northallerton and improve Darlington’s station to allow for more trains.”