Berwickshire needs an improved A1 too

Calls have been made to ensure that the planned improvements to the A1 between Newcastle and the border are replicated in Berwickshire.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 14th November 2014, 11:57 am
John Lamont
John Lamont

Local MSP John Lamont called on the Scottish Government to prove its commitment to improving the A1 this week.

Prime Minister David Cameron recently placed upgrading the A1 north of Newcastle at the heart of a £15bn “roads revolution,” the plans of which will feature in next month’s Autumn Statement.

First Minister Alex Salmond also spoke in April of the importance of improving links between the central belt and the North East of England.

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John Lamont

Ahead of a vist to Berwickshire by Tory Chief Whip Michael Gove, Mr Lamont said: “Once again this is an encouraging announcement from the UK Government which shows that upgrading the A1 remains one of their top priorities.

“Despite increasing pressure over recent months the SNP are still refusing to match the UK Government’s commitment to invest in the A1. Investment in this road would reduce journey times, provide more jobs and improve transport links for businesses.

“The thousands of Borders residents who use the A1 every year are calling out for this road to be dualled, yet the SNP continue to ignore them.

“Just a few months ago, Alex Salmond promised the creation of an ‘economic powerhouse’ between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle. This SNP Government now needs to put its money where its mouth is.

He added: “Whilst other roads in Scotland continue to see further investment, the SNP continue to ignore significant cross border routes like the A1. It is frankly an embarrassment that the main route linking the Borders and the North East of England to Edinburgh will not be upgraded.”

Speaking at a tea party in Whitsome Ark hosted by Borders Conservatives, Mr Gove said: “While the UK government is doing its part in making sure the investment is there, the Scottish Government - well we don’t know.”

“This is a road of particular importance to Berwickshire,” added Mr Lamont, “and we can’t have a scenario where we have a very good quality road up to the border and all of a sudden the road goes back to the current conditions.

“We need to see that investment form the Scottish Governmen, and that investment.”

Mr Gove summed up: “John and I know that if you can get the Scottish Government and the UK Government working together, we can achieve a great deal.”