Dualling A1 costs revealed

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Moves to dual the A1 north of Morpeth have taken another step after the Highways Agency revealed the planned costs of the project.

The organisation acknowledged the work Northumberland County Council had done in preparing a detailed review of the wider economic benefits of dualling, which showed the local economy could benefit by up to £376 million.

At a meeting this week, the authority was told that dualling the stretch of road between Morpeth and Felton could be achieved by 2022 and it would cost in the region of £160 million to £260 million.

Full dualling of the A1 between Morpeth and the Scottish border (there are currently 37 miles of single carriageway in this section) could be achieved by 2023 and would require between £720 million and £1.2 billion of investment.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and the environment at the county council, said: “This remains a key issue for residents and the business community and these figures show what could be achieved with Government support over the next few years.”

Liberal Democrat campaigner Julie Porksen, who also attended the meeting, said there is still a long way to go because any scheme agreed in the Autumn Statement will need to go through more stages before digging work starts.

She added: “The devil will be in the detail, but Sir Alan Beith and I will keep up the pressure for progress.”