Dualling the A1

Posted on 20th October 2010 | in Community

In my capacity as coordinator of the A1 Action Group, I can update readers on recent progress towards dualling the A1.

On July 21 the Government asked AECOM, an engineering consultancy, to gather evidence for the economic case for dualling the A1 in North Northumberland. Northumberland County Council contacted the A1 Action Group to ask us to contribute evidence to AECOM’s investigation.

We invited local and regional businesses to provide information on how the dualling of the A1 would affect them. I am grateful to the 1,024 people who completed the survey. More than half of these submissions came from local, regional and nationwide businesses. We now have a clear picture of how a dualled A1 would help businesses to generate wealth and employment.

We have submitted the results of our survey to AECOM, along with 40 pages of figures and quotes from local and regional voices, including the Federation of Small Businesses, Northumbria Police and the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. AECOM will report to the Department for Transport (DfT) in September. The DfT must then report to the Government in time for the comprehensive spending review in October.

AECOM’s investigation is the result of the decision by the Coalition Government to include the A1 in the list of roads considered for upgrading using the national budget for road improvements. This consultation runs until 10th December and the A1 Action Group will once again be making a detailed submission. Ministers will then have all the evidence they could possibly want about how vital it is to fund the dualling of the A1.

Let’s hope the New Year will bring a decisive approach to the A1 from the Government. 

Anne-Marie Trevelyan

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