PM pledges dualling of the A1 all the way to Scotland under 'New Deal' plans for UK

The Prime Minister has raised hopes of the A1 being dualled all the way to Scotland.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 9:49 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 9:49 am
Boris Johnson has pledged the dualling of the A1 through to Scotland.
Boris Johnson has pledged the dualling of the A1 through to Scotland.

It came as Boris Johnson gave a speech in Dudley on Tuesday where he set out what he is calling a New Deal for the future of the UK economy and its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

A project to dual two sections of the A1 in Northumberland, meaning the road will be dual-carriageway as far north as Ellingham, is already under way, but campaigners have continued to call for it to go right to the Scottish border.

And in the section of his speech on transport infrastructure, Mr Johnson said: “When did a Government first promise to dual the A1 to Scotland? It was 1992. Well, this Government is going to do it.”

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Reacting to the speech, Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The Prime Minister knows how vital the A1 is, not just to Northumberland and the North East, but as a crucial link with Scotland.

“I am delighted he is backing my campaign.”

In December 2014, the then Prime Minister David Cameron visited the county to announce £290million for a scheme that includes two sections of dualling – Morpeth to Felton and Alnwick to Ellingham – as well as other improvements north of Ellingham.

After years of preparatory works and consultations, a development consent order for the sections of dualling is due to be submitted this week.

The bid will be decided by the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and a planning inspector will be appointed to conduct an examination of the proposal, with a statutory duty to conclude that part of the process within six months.

The Highways England website currently states that the start date for work is 2020-21 to 2024-25, with an end date ‘to be confirmed’.

To the north of Ellingham, a total of 11 junctions are to be improved, after initial proposals for overtaking lanes were dropped due to safety concerns over their proximity to junctions. This project got under way in late 2018.