The Department aims to create more free-flowing journeys across the strategic road network, including the A1, through its road investments.
The A1—the great north road—is a beautiful road linking Scotland and England, and I think that to honour the upcoming jubilee we should rename it the Queen’s highway. Why not? But it is not an entirely safe road. I have spent hundreds of hours on it, and there are many fatalities on it. I cannot understand why all the roundabouts have been stripped away between Newark and the Black Cat roundabout, but going south from the Black Cat to the north circular there are still roundabouts. There are also many crossing points in Lincolnshire and other places. Will the Minister now commit to really upgrading the A1 to make it entirely safe by getting rid of all the traffic lights, roundabouts and crossing points? Let us make it a true Queen’s highway.
I fully agree with my right hon. Friend’s suggestion for renaming that beautiful road, and I am sure that the Transport Secretary, who is listening carefully, will take that away and consider it. I am happy to say that we are investing significant sums in making the A1 safer and more reliable as a result of our near-£1 billion A428 improvement scheme, and there will be a major reconstruction of the Black Cat junction on the A1 so that north-south traffic will flow freely underneath it. There is potential for further enhancement along the A1, which will be considered in the light of Highways England’s work to update its route strategies, starting this year, and I fully expect my right hon. Friend’s journeys to be very pleasant indeed in the future.