Plea to upgrade ‘missing link’

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COUNCILLORS have made the case for fully dualling the A1 to the Deputy Prime Minister.

County councillor Alan Thompson called for investment in the link road during a question and answer session with Nick Clegg in Newcastle.

He referred to upgrades along single carriageway stretches between Northumberland and Scotland as the ‘missing link’ in the motorway network.

“Successive governments have consistently failed to realise that the North East needs to be linked to the huge market in Scotland by the east coast route,” said Coun Thompson.

“Everyone acknowledges the importance of the east-coast rail route, but the east coast road route is not acknowledged, except by important people in industry and commerce.

“When will we get the economic infrastructure financed that we need to have this crucial link with Scotland so that we can develop our economy?”

Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith added: “This Government, because of the way it’s handled the economy, can borrow money at much more favourable terms than any of its predecessors and most other countries.

“This is the kind of scheme which could be underwritten. What message are you sending to the people of Scotland if you say ‘we want you to stay with us in the United Kingdom’, but don’t provide a trunk road link of the quality that ought to be there?”

Mr Clegg said he had ‘instinctive sympathy’ for those calling for the works to be carried out.