THE groups, organisations and businesses urging the Government to fully dual the A1 in Northumberland have been told that they have one month left to help make the case for funding.
Officials at the Department for Transport (DfT) are currently compiling evidence about the issue for a detailed feasibility study, one of several commissioned as part of a seven-year funding plan after the Autumn Statement to look at large infrastructure projects across England.
When director of the ‘Dual the A1 campaign’, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, recently met with officials from the DfT and Highways Agency, she was told that all evidence reviews would have to be completed by the end of March, therefore evidence will need to be submitted by the end of February to ensure it is taken into account.
Afterwards, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for the Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency, said: “For many years the Dual the A1 campaign has been gathering evidence from residents and businesses who understand the need for a dualled A1 between Newcastle and Edinburgh and the value that it would bring.
“There is now a golden opportunity to make the strongest possible case on economic grounds for A1 dualling and we need as much new evidence as possible.
“The feasibility study will consider both the costs of such a large project and its economic benefits. I will be contacting as many businesses and residents as possible and I encourage everyone who cares about this issue to add their evidence to our campaign via www.dualthea1.com
“We must use this opportunity to get a better deal on the A1 or we risk further delays to this vital project.”
Senior officials at Northumberland County Council have also been involved in discussions with the DfT about the road.
The authority is among the group of stakeholders that will contribute to the process.
All parts of the feasibility study are set to be completed in the autumn.
Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “We certainly welcome these talks and we know how important an issue this is to local people and the business community.
“We look forward to getting more detailed ideas and will be working hard to make our case at a national level.”