Consent granted on long-delayed A1 dualling

Traffic on the A1
The application was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate almost four years ago [BBC]

Permission to carry out work to widen a 13-mile stretch of the A1 in Northumberland has been granted.

Plans for a dual carriageway between Morpeth and Ellingham were granted development consent by the Secretary of State for Transport late on Friday.

Repeatedly delayed, the scheme was first raised more than 15 years ago and will create a continuous dual carriageway from Newcastle to Ellingham.

It will receive funding reallocated from the scrapped HS2 rail project.

Across Northumberland, 42 miles of the A1 are single carriageway, with campaigners calling for years for the widening of the route between between Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Residents living close to the road had previously described being "exhausted" by the uncertainty around the scheme, which had more than £67m spent on it prior to being signed off.

The decision to grant development consent was announced by the Planning Inspectorate on Friday evening.

It gives permission for work to begin on upgrades including:

  • the widening of existing single carriageway roads to dual carriageway

  • construction of new bridges over the River Coquet parallel to the existing road bridge and at Causey Park Bridge

  • construction of a new dual carriageway between Priest Bridge and Burgham Park

  • a new road under the A1 at Burgham Park

  • the replacement of access routes

  • the diversion of cables and the provision of drainage features and extended culverts

The development consent order came after the public, local authorities and other "interested parties" were given a six-month opportunity to share their views on the project.

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