Pledge to deliver on A1 – a ‘notorious problem spot’

Sir Alan Beith beside the A1
Sir Alan Beith beside the A1

Hopes for progress on the A1 in Northumberland have been raised after the Government vowed to ‘deliver a solution’ last week.

In his Investing in Britain’s Future speech on the Government’s infrastructure plans, which followed last week’s Spending Review, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander promised money for a feasibility study for the A1.

Alan Ferguson, Greg Clark MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Dual the A1 campaign director near the A1 at Morpeth where it becomes single-track.

Alan Ferguson, Greg Clark MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Dual the A1 campaign director near the A1 at Morpeth where it becomes single-track.

Since the speech last Thursday, in which details were relatively thin, MP Sir Alan Beith has met Mr Alexander.

Sir Alan said: “The Chief Secretary has assured me that there is provision for dualling parts of the A1 in the allocation of funding, and that the study to be carried out is not about whether the work to improve the road should be done, but is a technical study on road design.”

And yesterday, during Prime Minister’s Questions, in response to a question from Sir Alan, David Cameron said studies are being funded into ‘fixing problems’ on the road.

In last week’s speech in the House of Commons, Mr Alexander said: “This Government will invest over £28billion over the six years from 2014 in enhancements and maintenance of national and local roads.

“Firstly, we will take action to fix the backlog of maintenance, which has left road surfaces in communities up and down the country crumbling.

“We are committing £10billion of investment in road repairs between 2015-16 and 2020-21.

“More than £4billion of that money will be spent on national road maintenance – enough to resurface over 21,000 miles of road; the equivalent of London to Beijing and back.

“The other £6billion of that money will be spent at a local level – allowing local authorities to fill the equivalent of 19million potholes a year.”

The third and final promise was that ‘this money will pay for us to identify and deliver solutions for the most notorious problem spots across the country’.

“Any Honourable Member planning a future trip to Scotland – a Scotland as part of a strong United Kingdom – will want to see a better A1 north of Newcastle,” he said, later adding: “These are investments that we will make sure are delivered.”

Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Berwick, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who set up and leads the Dual the A1 Campaign, said: “I am pleased that the A1 dualling review is to be set in motion and that the detailed business case will now be drawn up. This is what the Dual the A1 Campaign has been calling for, and now we can get onto putting together the detailed programme of works.”