Ministers urged to commit to dualling A1

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Pressure is being put on the Scottish Government to dual the A1 in Berwickshire after UK ministers made a renewed commitment to dualling south of the border.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has vowed that the A1 remains a priority for the UK Government, giving fresh hope that the remaining 25 miles of single carriageway from Berwick to Ellingham will eventually be dualled.

The man drove four miles down the wrong side of the A1. Picture: TSPL

The man drove four miles down the wrong side of the A1. Picture: TSPL

The UK Government committed £209m to dualling the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham in 2014, but many were left disappointed that the dual carriageway stretch stopped well short of Berwick and only small-scale safety improvement were planned in north Northumberland.

Mr Grayling’s announcement has prompted Borders MSP John Lamont to push ministers here to commit to similar improvements.

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Transport in Scotland is the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament and it would be up to the Scottish Government to commit funding to dual the A1 in Berwickshire/

Mr Lamont said:“The SNP has an extra £800m to spend on capital projects, just like this, so it really has no excuse not to invest in this key route.

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“Dualling the A1 would not only provide local jobs and investment, but it will also make the road safer.

“Official figures have already shown that accident rates are much higher on the two-lane sections of the A1 than they are on the dual carriageway sections.

“The current lack of investment is in danger of becoming a national embarrassment.

“What message does it send out to businesses and visitors using the road if the entire English section is dualled, only for the road to become a single carriageway just a mile inside Scotland?”

Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “I can understand why residents across the border in Scotland would be disappointed that the Scottish Government is refusing to commit to investing in the A1 north of the border.”