A1 DUALLING: Not all positive

The A1 in Northumberland
The A1 in Northumberland

I was very pleased to read Tim Hardie’s letter (Gazette, October 9), on the desirability or otherwise of dualling the entire remaining 40 miles of the A1 in England.

I entirely agree with his view, having long questioned the need to do such a thing, without making the effort to raise the question.

I feel that a number of persons and organisations have joined in the chorus endorsing such an action, without necessarily thinking through the possible results. For example, it has long been known to professionals in this field, that good roads into an area are just as likely to become good roads out of it.

Imagine traffic hurtling unimpeded through - rather past - Northumberland without any need to do much more than stop at a service station between, say Edinburgh and Newcastle or some other major point on the roadway network.

Secondly, we often present ourselves as some sort of haven of tranquillity - not improved at all, I suggest, by the presence of a high-speed road.

Personally, I have come to regard the necessity of not travelling everywhere with the greatest possible speed as a welcome opportunity to drive more reflectively thoughtfully and peacefully - not the greatest buzz-buzz, rush-rush, me-me, hurry-hurry attitude.

But then perhaps I’m just an out-of-date, old-fashioned, out-of-touch, backward-looking, doddery old git.

It has occurred to me that perhaps those authorities who have resisted coughing up our money to carry out the entire dualling project may inadvertently have acted as the best guardians of our rural environment.

With regard to tractors using the A1 - not, I would suggest, all that frequent an occurrence, except perhaps for a few days in that swift and urgent time still described as harvest time.

How many people have seen a lengthy queue of cars following a train of half-a-dozen tractors? Has anybody used the M6 recently?

Plenty of bunched-up traffic, and nairy a tractor in sight. Perhaps this particular problem might, in any case, be solved if a law were passed and enforced obliging any vehicle having a licence for agricultural use to travel no more than, say half-a-mile on a main highway.

Lastly, there is the cost. I forget how many millions, but lots, I’m sure. Say no more - say no more.

Ken McDonald

By email