United front seen as key to achieve full A1 dualling

THE leader of Northumberland County Council has called for a unified voice to help deliver improvements to the main road through the county.

Senior officials from the authority recently met with their civil service counterparts from the Department for Transport to agree a series of feasibility studies that will establish a business case for the upgrade of the remainder of the A1 in Northumberland.

The project is seen by the Labour administration as an important part of its plans to grow the county’s economy over the next 20 years and it is believed that a strong argument for the scheme can be built up in the forthcoming studies.

Now the leader of the group and the county council, Grant Davey, is urging all the parties involved in the campaign for dualling to come together so they can present a united front to the Government.

“We’re keen to make the case for Northumberland through these feasibility studies because we believe that the dualling of the A1 will play a significant role in boosting our economic performance,” he said.

“This is a cross party issue and I believe our case will be more effective if put to the Government collectively.

“I’m keen to discuss ways with our political opponents to allow the county to speak with one voice.”

Coun Davey added that the project is even more important because there could be big changes in Scotland this year, as even without independence there is the potential for new powers for the devolved government in Edinburgh.

The authority is aiming to complete the feasibility studies by autumn in time for Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement.