The Journal Opinion: All we can do is keep up the pressure to dual the A1

The Journal's opinion column for Monday, October 20, in which we press the case for dualling the main road from the North East to Scotland

Single carriageway section of the A1 in Northumberland
Single carriageway section of the A1 in Northumberland

When Mary Creagh, the shadow transport secretary, says the Government has only resurrected plans to dual the A1 north of Newcastle for “political reasons” she is probably correct.

Nevertheless, she misses the point. If political reasons are the only way we are to advance this vital project, then we’ll take them.

There have been hints that George Osborne may have good news about the A1 in his Autumn Statement in a few weeks.

We should not expect that good news to be an immediate start on widening the road.

Road projects are an escalator that moves at snail’s pace. When a project is near the bottom it can fall off the escalator at any time. The higher it advances, the more chance there is of work actually starting. It takes years.

The A1 north of Newcastle is not even on the escalator yet. But it is closer than ever to making it on to the bottom step. All we can do is keep the pressure on.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer