School fears among options for dualled A1

The bus stops on the A1 at Tritlington, which were installed earlier this year but may be lost during dualling.
The bus stops on the A1 at Tritlington, which were installed earlier this year but may be lost during dualling.

A resident who lives next to the A1 between Morpeth and Felton has expressed concern about two of the options for dualling that section.

Starting last month, Highways England has been consulting on the options for dualling that stretch of the road as well as the upgrades further north.

And Dennis Dixon, who lives right next to the trunk road, just to the north of Tritlington, is convinced that the green option is the only way forward.

This would cause the least disruption to road users and residents as an entirely new A1 would be built west of the current road, from Priests Bridge to just north of Burgham Park.

The existing A1 would be retained as a local road to allow access to villages and properties along the route.

The green option is the most expensive – at £207.8million, but the cheapest orange route would still cost £197.3million.

The orange and blue options both involve upgrading the existing route with four new junctions and further access changes. Highlighting the lengthy tailbacks caused by the current work at the Morpeth junction for the Northern Bypass, Mr Dixon says it would be ‘a nightmare’ during the two to three years of construction.

But his major concern is for Tritlington C of E Aided First School, which would be surrounded by construction of a new junction, including a fly-over, if the blue or orange options went ahead. His worry is that the eventual outcome would be the school’s closure.

Mr Dixon said: “I cannot believe they are even considering the other two when they have this (green) one.”

He also mentioned buses, questioning whether the blue and orange options would result in no buses stopping between Morpeth and Felton, due to the new dual-carriageway junctions, and the destruction of the new lay-bys at Tritlington, which were only installed earlier this year.

Under the green option, buses could leave the new A1 and follow the existing route that would remain as a local road, although the exact routes for buses would be decided at a later date.

The consultation runs until next Friday (December 23).

For more information or to have your say, visit highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/a1-in-northumberland