Fresh calls made to dual A1 from Dunbar to border

Traffic flows along the single carriage A1 at Penmanshiel, near Cockburnspath.
Traffic flows along the single carriage A1 at Penmanshiel, near Cockburnspath.

THE Scottish government is being urged to make the dualling of the A1 trunk road from Dunbar to Berwick one of its major priorities over the next 20 to 30 years.

Both Scottish Borders and East Lothian Council have called for the dualling of the A1 from Dunbar to the English border as a key part of its response to the Scottish government’s national planning consultation.

While it is unlikely to start in the short term, the strategy is designed to shape the Scottish government’s priorities over the next 20 to 30 years.

The national planning consultation, a blueprint for improving transport links and developments, acknowledges that cross-border road and rail links are important for developing tourism and trade by bringing more parts of Scotland to within three hours travelling time of major English cities.

Councillor Michael Veitch, East Lothian Council’s transport spokesman, said: “While supporting the general principles of the government’s plan, we are particularly keen that East Lothian benefits from future investment in upgrading and improving transport links as this will be vital in competing economically with other areas of the country.

“To achieve this we are pressing for the dualling of the rest of the Scottish section of the A1 trunk road from Dunbar to the Border to improve connectivity and the flow of traffic.”

SBC’s response includes five ambitious projects it believes should be pushed forward. One of them is to dual the A1.

Berwickshire councillor Jim Fullarton, the former executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: “I think this may be the most realisable of the proposals. Already the UK Government has promised to dual the road to Newcastle.”

Business leaders and local politicians say dualling the A1 on botth sides of the border from Edinburgh to Newcastle would bring economic and cross-border benefits for the area. But there are no plans to dual the A1 north of Newcastle in the north east.

The majority of the A1 north of Newcastle is single carriageway, apart from a ten-mile (16km) stretch between Felton to Alnwick.