Beith meets Treasury chief ahead of A1 announcement

Sir Alan Beith and Julie Porksen with Danny Alexander
Sir Alan Beith and Julie Porksen with Danny Alexander

A1 campaigners Sir Alan Beith MP and Julie Pörksen have secured a meeting with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement,

The Chancellor is expected to announce the government’s commitment to dual the A1 between Morpeth and the Scottish border next week.

With final decisions on infrastructure spending still to be reached, Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith said: “There is not a lot of money to go round and we know there are many projects competing for what money there is, so it is absolutely crucial that we keep Northumberland’s A1 needs on everyone’s agenda.

“Julie and I will be reminding the Chief Secretary to the Treasury – again – because he has the final say on which infrastructure projects will get the green light in next Wednesday’s Statement.”

Mrs Pörksen has travelled to London for the meeting and will be handing over a personal letter from Alex Gibson of Berwick, whose son, also called Alex, was killed in an accident on the A1 near Haggerston just over three years ago.

Last year Sir Alan arranged for Mr Gibson and his family visit Downing Street and hand in a petition at with over 110,000 signatures calling for the single-carriageway stretches of the road to be dualled.

Mrs Pörksen said: “I am touched that Mr Gibson has asked me to hand over his personal letter. So many people have had narrow escapes on the A1 and some people, including Mr and Mrs Gibson, have had their family shattered by the loss of a loved one in a crash on the road.

“Whatever the outcome in next week’s Autumn Statement, I and my fellow Liberal Democrats will keep fighting for people across the constituency who want to see the road improved.”