News story

Government boost for Northern Powerhouse: A1

Roads Minister sees A1 improvements during visit to north east.

Andrew Jones MP and Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP visit the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham.
  • £350 million of improvements to the A1
  • Yorkshire and north east of England will benefit from 26 transport schemes worth a total of £3 billion

Roads Minister Andrew Jones will visit the north east today, Tuesday 11 August 2015, to see how major road improvements are helping to create a Northern Powerhouse.

Andrew Jones is in the region to see progress on over £60 million of improvements to the A1 from Coal House to Metro Centre. When completed in 2016, almost 4 miles of the A1 will be widened to 3 lanes, relieving congestion on one of the busiest roads in the country. He will also be visiting the A1 in Northumberland to see where a further £290 million will be invested to add capacity, meaning that for the first time there will be a dual carriageway from London to Ellingham, 34 miles north of Newcastle.

The work is part of the government’s commitment to build a Northern Powerhouse that will help the north of England unleash its full power, and create a balanced, healthier economy.

Roads Minister Andrew Jones said:

Successive governments have failed to invest the sums necessary in transport. In many parts the system is at capacity. Yorkshire and the north east is set to benefit from a total of 26 major schemes with a total spend of £3 billion – and the 18 most recently- announced are set to create an estimated 1,500 construction jobs.

We had a choice - building the infrastructure our country needs, or letting our transport system become a brake on growth and opportunity.

This government has chosen to invest for the future. Across the north, programmes like the work on the A1 are underway to upgrade our roads. We are determined to keep the momentum going.

The work is part of an ambitious £15 billion plan to triple levels of spending by the end of the decade to increase the capacity and condition of England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads.

Making transport better by improving the links that bind the north together is integral to the Northern Powerhouse. It will bring cities and regions closer together and strengthen connections - Liverpool to Hull, the north west to Yorkshire, the north east and the Midlands – making it easier for hard working people and businesses to access markets or deploy their skills.

Highways England will also be taking forward and delivering schemes arising from the Newcastle-Gateshead Western Bypass feasibility study: the A1 Scotswood to North Brunton and A1 Birtley to Coal House widening schemes.

Other road improvements planned include:

  • £140 million of technology enhancement to the A1 and A19 technology
  • £100 million upgrade of the A19/A1058 Coast Road junction
  • £70 million junction improvements to take the A19 over the Testos junction
  • £40 million junction improvements to the A19 Down Hill Lane
  • £140 - £220 million, road widening project to the A19 Norton to Wynyard

The Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin was also in the north today, setting out how a blueprint of how £13 billion is transforming transport links across the north.

The projects that ministers saw are among a range of improvements for the region, many of which are already underway.

Already this year, new electric train services began running between Manchester, Liverpool and Wigan for the first time. Other improvements include:

  • the opening of the refurbished station at Manchester Victoria this autumn, making the station safer, brighter and more spacious and a fitting gateway for the city
  • a new southern entrance to Leeds station, to serve the expanding commercial area south of the River Aire
  • new franchises that will see modern trains and additional capacity on TransPennine services between Leeds and Manchester and the removal of Pacer trains on Northern routes
  • work to deliver faster trains and better services between Sheffield and London
  • investment in the period up to 2020/21 in over 40 major road schemes ultimately worth £4.8 billion across Yorkshire, the north east and north west, with new schemes expected to create over 2,000 jobs
  • in the longer-term, transforming city to city rail connectivity across the region, radically reducing travel times, through HS2 and TransNorth east-west rail links

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Published 11 August 2015