The delivery timetable for dualling and improving the A1 in Northumberland will be published in the next month, according to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who ‘anticipates being ready to start construction in 2020’.
The five-year delivery plan, including a detailed programme of work, for dualling the road from Morpeth to Felton and from north of Alnwick to Ellingham, as well as other improvements further north, will be made public and this will be updated on an annual basis.
In a letter to Lib Dem candidate for Berwick, Julie Pörksen, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said: “I am pleased to inform you that next month, ahead of the formation of the Government-owned company Highways England on April 1, a five-year delivery plan will be published.”
Ms Pörksen said: “I am pleased that Danny Alexander has responded to my request and has committed to the imminent publication of the delivery plan. This is good news for the many local residents who have told me that they want know what is happening and want to feed into the consultation process before the A1 is dualled.
“Concerns have been raised that the design must take into account the need for the dualled A1 to be a safe road for local traffic including buses, farm traffic, pedestrians, cyclists and horses. I have also asked the Highways Agency and Northumberland County Council to make sure that the A1068, A697 and any other roads to be used as diversions during the build are considered in the plan to dual the A1 so that they are made both safe and free-flowing before the actual building work on the A1 starts.”
Sir Alan Beith MP added: “I welcome these steps to publish the timetable, as I remember Malcolm Rifkind coming up and announcing plans to dual the A1 back in 1992 only to cancel them once the Conservatives won the election. Julie Pörksen and I are working hard to make sure that there will be no U-turns on the A1 this time.”