Lib Dem candidate laments Government's 'broken' promise on dualling of the A1 in Northumberland

A politician has lamented ‘broken’ Conservative promises on the dualling of the A1 in Northumberland.
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Natalie Younes, Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for North Northumberland, was speaking at her party’s spring conference in York.

It is nearly 10 years since then Prime Minister David Cameron pledged £290m towards an upgrade of 13 miles of the route between Morpeth to Ellingham.

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A final decision on the project has been repeatedly deferred and is now expected in June.

Natalie Younes by the A1 near Felton.Natalie Younes by the A1 near Felton.
Natalie Younes by the A1 near Felton.

Natalie said: “We were told that £290m of funding was ready and available in 2014. Where is that funding now?

"Amid further public service cuts, the last Tory budget found room for additional ‘levelling-up’ funds for Surrey, Buckinghamshire and London’s Canary Wharf. Is this not proof of where the Conservatives’ priorities really lie?”

She emphasised the importance of A1 dualling locally.

“It matters because two of the key building blocks for a thriving local economy are good local services and good connectivity to other places, but we also need it to improve road safety and save lives on our part of the A1.

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“The Conservatives will no doubt continue to promise A1 dualling at the forthcoming General Election, but all they have shown over the last decade is their commitment to breaking such pledges.

“Responsibility for Northumberland missing out time and time again on the funding we need rests firmly with the Conservative government – including former Transport Ministers – on their whole mismanaged approach and misplaced priorities in favour of austerity and their core support in the south.

"North Northumberland desperately needs an improved road infrastructure, better local services and a big rise in the quality of local people’s lives.”

Sitting Conservative MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan made the case for the scheme to be approved in person to Transport Secretary Mark Harper earlier this month.

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At the time, she said: “It was fantastically encouraging to hear from him that the Government remains rock solidly behind the project. He reiterated the Prime Minister’s commitment of funding last year as one of the schemes in the £36billion Network North, which the Treasury have assured me of too.

“With £67.7million of works undertaken already – on planning, design, land acquisition and construction – I’ll not stop as we lock in the final permissions to steamroll ahead.”