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A1 (Dualling)

Volume 580: debated on Thursday 8 May 2014

7. What progress his Department has made on its study of proposals to dual the remaining single carriageway sections of the A1. (903897)

The A1 north of Newcastle study is one of six studies to identify and fund solutions to a number of notorious and long-standing hot spots on the road network. The next working group takes place on 21 May to discuss the evidence review stage, after which the study will consider the potential investment options before making its recommendations later this year.

Since the Chief Secretary to the Treasury made a firm commitment a year ago and the Transport Secretary has given the scheme his strong personal support, can he get a move on? At the moment, with all these studies, it feels a bit like being stuck in slow-moving traffic on the A1.

I think we are making progress. The right hon. Gentleman mentioned in his question the fact that the Chief Secretary is involved. If the Chief Secretary and the Transport Secretary are of one mind on this, I very much hope that we will be able to make some progress.

What accounts for the delay between the tentative announcement of yet another study and the setting up of the study? What is left to be studied of this much-studied question? Will the Transport Secretary confirm to the House that the study is but a prelude to the commencement of the actual work?

I think I will look at the wording of that when I see it in Hansard. This is an important road and a lot of work has already gone on to widen the A1, as well as a lot of work that is being undertaken at present. We are now talking about the area north of Newcastle and it is important that when the works are being carried out, measures are put in place to deal with the environmental consequences and the objections that people might raise.