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Petition launched to ‘finish the job’ on A1

Alex Gibson and Julie Porksen.
Alex Gibson and Julie Porksen.

An A1 campaigner is joining forces with the Liberal Democrats in the continuing campaign to secure dualling for the rest of the A1 to Berwick.

The recent news to compete the dualling of the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham has reinforced campaigning efforts by Alex Gibson, founder of Project Alexander, and Liberal Democrats Julie Pörksen and Sir Alan Beith MP.

Project Alexander was set up by Berwick town councillor Alex Gibson following the death of his son on the A1 three years ago. Together they have set up a new petition to campaign to finish the job of dualling the single-carriageway section.

Mr Gibson said: “After the Autumn Statement, the people of Berwick feel let down as the Government is not dualling the A1 fully from Morpeth to Berwick. As the founder of Project Alexander, I am joining forces with the Liberal Democrats to get the remaining 25 miles of the A1 from Ellingham to Berwick dualled.

“I’m not doing this for political reasons, I’m still independent, but will work alongside Julie Pörksen, the Liberal candidate for Berwick, because I believe she is working for the people and businesses of Berwick and I think we need her listening to us and working for us to get the A1 dualled and not settle for second best.”

Julie said: “Working together with respected A1 dualling and road-safety campaigner Alex Gibson and Project Alexander will help give a louder voice to local residents who are campaigning to finish the job of getting the A1 dualled.

“We will continue to push the case for dualling the A1 based on improving road safety, traffic flow and the local economy. As the A1 is improved in the southern half of the county, it will be even more important to campaign to finish the job. We will not stop until the A1 is fully dualled.”

MP Sir Alan Beith added: “Alex Gibson’s continuing efforts to get the whole of the A1 dualled are a tremendous tribute to his late son Alex. We should not lose sight of the families whose lives have been torn apart by collisions on the road.

“Last week’s investment in upgrading the single-carriageway stretches south of Ellingham is fantastic news, but we must not lose sight of the overall objective of dualling the A1 all the way to the Scottish border and treating it properly as a nationally strategic road.” The online petition can be signed at www.berwicklibdems.org.uk

As reported in the Gazette last week, Conservative candidate and Dual the A1 campaign director, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, has also pledged to continue campaigning for full dualling.

“I’m going to carry on campaigning until the road is fully dualled,” she said. “But this is fantastic news because it opens up that first stretch.

“There will be an increase in traffic and the region will be able to prove to the Treasury how much of an impact economically that investment has made.

“This is the first tranche of funding,” she added. “I committed when I set up the campaign seven years ago to get the road dualled and that’s what I’m going to do.”