The point where it all goes wrong

As yet another Government minister visits the county to discuss the A1, it is hoped that Whitehall will put its money where its mouth is.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Greg Clark MP met businesses and campaigners last Friday to talk about the dualling of the A1 in north Northumberland.

He joins a list of Cabinet ministers who have come up to the county in 2013, following visits from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in January and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin in February.

There were reports in April that an announcement on the A1 was set to take place later this year, but this was said to be a reiteration of Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander’s request for the Department for Transport to carry out a study.

Mr Alexander is another of the senior Government figures who has visited the county in recent months.

The Department for Transport has said that no decisions will be taken until after the Spending Review this month; the dualling of the A1 and transport links more generally are a central drive of the NEvolution campaign, launched last week.

Supported by newspapers across the North East, the campaign calls for greater devolution of powers and the redirection of funding into the region ahead of Chancellor George Osborne’s Review on June 26.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, campaign director of Dual the A1, said: “I think it’s vital that all those in Government understand that the North East has a huge capacity for growth and I want Northumberland to be a part of that.”