It is convenient to live next to the A1 after heavy snow, but at all other times I’d rather live almost anywhere else or, better still, have the road dualled and realigned.
However, none of those self-serving considerations is of any importance at all compared with the fearful toll of death and injury that dangerous road exacts from its users.
The case for dualling was compelling, but there seemed no hope that the work would ever be done after the false dawn in 2004/5, when two schemes were designed and voted on by those directly affected before the funds were cynically diverted into other projects.
Only Anne-Marie Trevelyan’s magnificent campaign for dualling seemed to offer any chance of influencing Government and I have observed it with increasing optimism over some 10 years.
To my astonishment, the promise in the Autumn Statement that Anne-Marie’s persistence had at last paid off coincided with the start of a postal blitzkrieg of leaflets from the Liberal Democrats – I received my eighth yesterday, if I’ve counted correctly.
They all assert, contrary to reality, that the success was really due to the secret influence of Sir Alan Beith and his protégé on Liberal Democrat members of the Government.
For good measure they include some disobliging and untrue comments about Anne-Marie.
I can only imagine that the improper reaction of the Liberal Democrats is connected with Anne-Marie Trevelyan’s high standing as the Conservative candidate for Berwick in the May election – having occupied the seat for so long, they feel entitled to continue at all costs.
I do not expect their tactics to work because Northumbrians are canny enough to separate fact from fiction but, at a time when many politicians are not held in high regard, they risk bringing the whole of politics into disrepute.