Grieiving dad Alexander Gibson from Berwick welcomes A1 dualling announcement

Father who lost his son in A1 smash welcomes plans to dual the road but wants action and not just talk

Alexander Gibson, whose son (also called Alexander) was killed in a head-on collision on the single carriageway A1 north of Alnwick last November
Alexander Gibson, whose son (also called Alexander) was killed in a head-on collision on the single carriageway A1 north of Alnwick last November

Grieving dad Alexander Gibson said he was delighted when he heard of plans to dual the A1.

This Thursday marks the third anniversary of the death of his son, also called Alexander, in a head-on collision on the road near Alnwick, Northumberland.

“If it was dualled then I am told he would have had a 90% chance of survival,” said Mr Gibson Snr.

He set up a petition under the name Project Alexander after the crash, calling on the Government to dual the A1 through Northumberland in order to prevent further loss of life, collecting more than 11,000 signatures which he handed in at 10 Downing Street on the first anniversary of his son’s death.

Prime Minister David Cameron this week talked of the long-awaited upgrades to the A1 north of Newcastle as part of a £15bn ‘roads revolution’.

Mr Gibson of Berwick said: “I was delighted, over the moon, when I heard the news.

“However I am concerned that it is just political talk, with an election coming up. I want to see shovels in the ground and work started on it. Talk is cheap.”

Mr Gibson, a parish councillor in Berwick, has contacted his local MP, Lib Dem Sir Alan Beith, to see if he could set up a meeting with Chancellor George Osborne over the matter.

Alexander Gibson from Berwick who died in A1 crash
Alexander Gibson from Berwick who died in A1 crash
 

“I am also hoping to speak to Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin again,” he said.

The commitment on the A1 came after research by the think tank the IPPR showed infrastructure spending in the region is dwarfed by that of the capital’s.

The Government spends £5,426 per person on infrastructure in London while in the North East that figure is just £223.

Mr Gibson added: “It’s like this area of north Northumberland doesn’t exist. It will cost £1bn to dual the A1, yet they are planning to spend £40bn plus on HS2. They seem to have their priorities wrong.”

As well as the economic benefits such an improvement would have if it went ahead, Mr Gibson knows only too well the personal benefits people travelling in that area will have.

“Many people in the area hate that road. You are always on edge when driving on it.

“There’s a lot of slow moving traffic here - Northumberland is a rural region - and it can test people’s patience.

“The dualling should go right through into Scotland.”

While the anniversary of his son’s death is on Thursday, he said it will be on Sunday he goes to the white cross memorial he set up to mark the spot where his son was killed.

“I want to go when the road is less busy.”

Now 66, he said: “I really hope within my lifetime to see work on dualling the A1 begin. I don’t want to see the death of my son and those of the hundreds of people also killed or injured, being in vain.”

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