Tories want A1 dualled from Dunbar to Berwick

Berwickshire MSP John Lamont wants the Scottish government to “match the UK government’s commitment to invest in the A1” by dualling the road from Dunbar to Berwick.

By Phil Johnson
Tuesday, 2nd December 2014, 1:12 pm
The A1 at Torness Power Station, south of Dunbar, remains single carriageway.
The A1 at Torness Power Station, south of Dunbar, remains single carriageway.

The UK government announced yesterday a £250m investment to upgrade the A1 north of Newcastle, but the residents in Berwick and the north of Northumberland were underwhelmed by the plans, which stopped short of full dualling right up to the Scottish border.

The announcement included the dualling of 13 miles of single carriageway, but the 25-mile stretch between Ellingham and the Scottish border was missed out of the dual carriageway plans and will receive minor improvements instead.

Mr Lamont, however, believes the Scottish government should still make a commitment to upgrade the road between Dunbar and Berwick to make it dual carriageway all the way.

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John Lamont welcomes conservative party chief whip Michael Gove to Whitsome Arc

The Conservative MSP, pictured, said: “Despite increasing pressure over recent months the SNP are still refusing to match the UK government’s commitment to invest in the A1. Investment in this road would reduce journey times, provide more jobs and improve transport links for businesses in the Borders.

“The thousands of Borders residents who use the A1 every year are calling out for this road to be dualled, yet the SNP continue to ignore them.

“Whilst other roads in Scotland continue to see further investment, the SNP government in Edinburgh is refusing to do likewise for significant cross border routes like the A1.”

His calls were echoed by fellow Tory David Roach, the Scottish Conservative parliamentary candidate for East Lothian.

He said: “The Conservatives in Westminster are delivering for the north east of England, and locally we are campaigning for the same in East Lothian. I therefore call upon Nicola Sturgeon to match Conservative ambitions, and spend the money needed to complete the dualling of the A1 in my constituency.

“Local businesses and commuters want to see the A1 dualled between Berwick and Dunbar to ease congestion, improve road safety, and help better connect the local economy. And they have the Conservative Party’s full support. The A1 is an important route linking Edinburgh with London, but amazingly in the 21st century, parts of the road are still only single carriageway. This needs to change.”

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “The majority of the A1 in Scotland is already dualled. Our operating company regularly reviews the operation of all trunk roads in East Lothian and The Borders, including those on the A1, and takes action to improve safety where required.

“While analysis shows that it is a safe route with few reliability issues, we are determined to ensure that record is maintained.

“We also await the outcome of the on-going corridor study on potential high speed rail routes to Scotland so that we are in the best position to evaluate future cross border road and rail options.”