The founder and director of the Dual the A1 campaign Anne-Marie Trevelyan has expressed her renewed hope that the Government will soon formally announce that the A1 in Northumberland will be upgraded.
This follows comments made in speeches by Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, and the Chancellor, George Osborne at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham today.
In his keynote address, George Osborne talked of improving ‘connectivity’ and of creating a ‘northern powerhouse’ and addressing the ‘disparities between different parts of the country’.
Speaking in July, the Chancellor said: “Anne-Marie has personally raised with me the need to support rural businesses and communities and she has put firmly on the table the issue of the A1 and what we can do to make it a better road”.
Earlier this year, a feasibility study was launched, with the Chancellor describing the case to upgrade the road as ‘compelling’.
Patrick McLoughlin said in his speech to conference this morning: “Britain deserves a transport system that works. Investment into the A1 will sort out long-term failures.”
Political battle lines have been drawn over the issue, with each side in Northumberland turning up the heat.
Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Mrs Trevelyan, who launched the campaign in 2007, said: “When I founded the campaign, there were those, including the current MP, Alan Beith, who had always believed that it would never happen. I am very optimistic that the Chancellor will shortly make this formal announcement, but I will continue to make representations to colleagues at the Treasury and within the Department of Transport”.
Mrs Trevelyan is due to meet the Transport Secretary tomorrow (Tuesday). Check the Gazette website, Twitter or Facebook for news of the outcome.