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Secretary of State sees our Farm Track for himself

2nd Apr 2013


Reports in today's Times newspaper that the Department for Transport's extra £3bn of funds from the Treasury in last month's Budget is being allocated in part towards dualling the remaining 40 miles of the A1 north of Newcastle to the Scottish Border have been welcomed by the Dual the A1 campaign team.

 The campaign for A1 dualling north of Newcastle has been running since 2007, following consultation with thousands of local people who said that a dualled A1 was the single most important investment needed in Northumberland.

  In May 2010, the campaign team succeeded in persuading the then Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Theresa Villiers MP, to reclassify the stretch of road into the national roads network. This commitment was honoured under the Coalition government in early 2011.

  Since then, the campaign has been working with the business community in the North East to make the economic case for investment, alongside the safety case. A survey by the Dual the A1 campaign found that:

·         91 per cent of businesses said the lack of a dualled A1 was the main barrier to growth; and

·         94 per cent of businesses said that dualling the remaining stretch should be a priority.

  Meanwhile, the campaign has won the support of several organisations representing the region and the business community in the North East:

  •   The North East Chamber of Commerce supports the Dual the A1 campaign and included it in its recent Transport Priorities 2013 Report; and

·         IPPR North supports the campaign, highlighting that London and The South East account for 84 per cent of DfT planned spending, compared to 6 per cent for the North of England, and only 0.04 per cent for the North East.


 Commenting today, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Campaign Director for the Dual the A1 Campaign said: “I am pleased that ministers are now seriously looking at allocating funds towards dualling the A1 through Northumberland. Today’s article in the Times is extremely positive & the Dual the A1 campaign will carry on lobbying Government until the upgrade is formally announced in the spending review in June. We will not allow this momentum to slip back.

“This stretch of A1 had long suffered from a lack of political campaign effort for decades which is why I set up the campaign in 2007.

“Safety reviews and data analysis shows us that the road is unsafe due to its single/dual nature. Indeed most accidents are not due to weather or alcohol, but unfamiliarity with the difficult road layout.

“We believe that investing in the dualling of the last 40 miles of single carriageway on the A1 would give the North East of England and Scotland an economic boost to draw inward investment to the regions, and encourage greater use of the North East’s economic assets. 

“The developments in offshore marine and renewables on the Tyne need to be linked to Scottish businesses. European trade coming into Port of Tyne would increase with a good link into Scotland, and transport and distribution companies would no longer consider Newcastle to be the end of the road.”



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