Calls for upgrade of A1 both north and south of the border

A promise by the Prime Minister of a ‘New Deal’ which will deliver new infrastructure across the UK will include work to upgrade the A1.

By Kevin McRoberts
Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 7:30 am
John Lamont MP has welcomed the prospect of improvement works being carried out to the A1 road.
John Lamont MP has welcomed the prospect of improvement works being carried out to the A1 road.

The announcement has been welcomed by Berwickshire MP John Lamont who wants to see improvements to the road both north and south of the border.

In a speech this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that upgrading the A1 would be one of the transport projects prioritised.

It’s part of a range of projects in a £5 billion package designed to upgrade Britain’s infrastructure and skills to help fuel economic recovery after coronavirus.

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Mr Johnson said that there would be a review to look at how best to improve transport links between the four nations of the UK, as well as bringing forward funding to accelerate infrastructure projects in Scotland.

Mr Lamont welcomed the announcement and said he would be pressing for more investment in the A1 north of the border.

“The A1 is a vital road connection carrying freight and passengers north and south and connecting Scotland to the north east of England and the rest of the United Kingdom,” he said.

“For too long the A1 has required upgrading, especially the single lane sections that we see here in Berwickshire. These sections need to be dualled.

“Any upgrades to the A1 will be welcomed by me and many of my constituents who have to use it every day.

“Cutting congestion and improving safety must be the priority of any upgrade projects.

“This ambitious package of support from the UK Government highlights the need to invest in every part of Britain.

“The coronavirus has had a significant impact on our economy. We must now build back better, faster and greener than ever before.”

Berwickshire MSP Rachael Hamilton, meanwhile, expressed disappointment that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has not committed to similar spending on infrastructure in Scotland.

And she repeated previous calls for action to dual the A1 fully from Dunbar to Berwick, saying such a project should be at the heart of economic recovery plans.

Mrs Hamilton added that as transport is a devolved matter in Scotland, Scottish Government must work constructively with the UK Government to connect nations, rather than risk leaving the road in its current state for years to come.

“Dualling the A1 is extremely important for the economic recovery of the Borders,” she said.

“As well as improving safety, dualling the route would improve cross border connections and cut the journey time between Edinburgh and Newcastle.

“The A1 is an integral route for tourism and business. I cannot understand why the SNP Scottish Government prioritise investment on other transport routes in Scotland, but dismiss the Borders.

“The First Minister and the SNP have never committed to the dualling of the A1 because it serves their nationalist agenda to leave the road to England in the current state it is in.

“We need the SNP to step up to the mark and provide the same level of ambitious funding we have seen the Prime Minister announce to drive growth.”