A1 dualling could bring £376m bonus

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Dualling the A1 north of Morpeth could generate £376million for the local economy, council officials say.

A report has been produced by Northumberland County Council, setting out the business case for dualling the route.

The study estimates that the work could result in 2,000 new jobs and 12,000 additional homes, as well as generate millions of pounds for the economy.

Council Leader Grant Davey said: “This is a key issue both for local people and the business community. We are keen to build a business case for dualling the A1 in Northumberland, as well as looking at the case for investment in other transport projects along the route.

“This is the first time the council has carried out a detailed examination of the potential wider economic benefits of dualling.”

The report sets out other benefits from the scheme, such as promoting sustainable growth with better connections between markets, supporting growth in high quality business locations and service and manufacturing sectors, reducing business costs and attracting new businesses to the county, improving access to markets for goods and labour, enabling economies of scale in employment growth areas, and complementing investment in the road network in Tyne and Wear and North Yorkshire.

It says there would also be a positive impact on communities in south east Northumberland once the Morpeth Northern Bypass is built.

The report has been passed to the Highways Agency and Department for Transport, which is completing a study into the proposal ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.