LIBERAL Democrat MP Sir Alan Beith has challenged the Government to use money allocated to ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects to dual stretches of the A1 at Mousen Bends near Belford, and between Felton and Morpeth.
Speaking in the House of Commons last Thursday, Sir Alan asked the Minister: “One way of improving the North East’s share of transport expenditure would be to bring forward schemes to dual dangerous single carriageway sections of the A1 that have already been prepared by the Highways Agency. Will my hon friend discuss with his ministerial colleagues the urgency of bringing forward some of those schemes as soon as we can?”
Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat Under-Secretary of State for Transport, replied: “I am happy to say that the discussion has already taken place to some degree.”
Sir Alan said later: “I am glad that the Government is continuing to look at ways to get some progress on A1 dualling, particularly for the schemes which have already had significant sums of money spent on detailed proposals, and I am continuing to pursue this with Ministers.
“The only way we will get the A1 dualled is piece by piece, and the stretches at Mousen Bends and between Felton and Morpeth have already been the subject of detailed proposals, so it makes sense to try to get work started on these stretches first. The Mousen Bends is particularly important as there have been serious accidents there in the past.
“The money for ‘shovel-ready’ projects could be put to use very quickly and kick-start work needed.”