Roads Minister Andrew Jones has visited the north east to see how improvements to the A1 are progressing.
With the government unveiling a blueprint for how £13 billion of government investment in transport will help create the Northern Powerhouse, Mr Jones took time out to see progress on over £60 million of improvements to the A1 from Coal House to Metro Centre. When completed in 2016, almost four miles of the A1 will be widened to 3 lanes, relieving congestion on one of the busiest roads in the country.
The Minister will also visit the A1 in Northumberland to see where a further £290 million will be invested to add capacity, meaning that for the first time there will be a dual carriageway from London to Ellingham, 34 miles north of Newcastle.
The work is part of the government’s commitment to build a Northern Powerhouse that will help the north of England unleash its full power, and create a balanced, healthier economy.
Mr Jones said: “Successive governments have failed to invest the sums necessary in transport. In many parts the system is at capacity. Yorkshire and the north east is set to benefit from a total of 26 major schemes with a total spend of £3 billion – and the 18 most recently- announced are set to create an estimated 1,500 construction jobs.
“We had a choice – building the infrastructure our country needs, or letting our transport system become a brake on growth and opportunity. This government has chosen to invest for the future. Across the north, programmes like the work on the A1 are underway to upgrade our roads. We are determined to keep the momentum going.”
The work is part of an ambitious £15 billion plan to triple levels of spending by the end of the decade to increase the capacity and condition of England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads.
Highways England will also be taking forward and delivering schemes arising from the Newcastle-Gateshead Western Bypass feasibility study: the A1 Scotswood to North Brunton and A1 Birtley to Coal House widening schemes.
Other road improvements planned include:
- £140 million of technology enhancement to the A1 and A19 technology
- £100 million upgrade of the A19/A1058 Coast Road junction
- £70 million junction improvements to take the A19 over the Testos junction
- £40 million junction improvements to the A19 Down Hill Lane
- £140 – £220 million, road widening project to the A19 Norton to Wynyard