Gathering data

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Your loyal readers will have noticed an increase in pronouncements from our MP about dualling the A1.

While Sir Alan has taxpayer-funded staff writing press releases, the entirely voluntary team at the Dual the A1 campaign is undertaking a massive exercise in collecting data on the economic case for dualling.

At the Conservative Conference, I met Ministers from the Department of Transport, who stressed the need for a detailed, evidence-led business case for dualling. As a result, Dual the A1 volunteers are working on a daily basis to listen to businesses on how many more people they could employ if the road were upgraded. It is only by presenting the economic arguments to Ministers that we will have the opportunity to get a full assessment of costs prepared for the Treasury to look at.

Ministers have been telling me for months that they hear nothing in Whitehall from Northumberland County Council about the need for dualling the A1. It seems that the Lib Dem council’s priorities are elsewhere, since their three big investment projects are in the south-east, including a new stretch of dual-carriageway around Pegswood.

I, therefore, invite the county council to show it isn’t just talking about dualling the A1, but actually lobbying Government on its vital importance.

If these Lib Dem councillors and our MP are serious about getting the A1 dualled, perhaps they could help us make some real progress, by working with the Dual the A1 campaign to gather data from businesses in Northumberland and the wider North East.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan,

Dual the A1 Campaign Director