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The A1 in Northumberland

A1 just north of Morpeth A1 just north of Morpeth Colin Adsley

Highways England has just published detailed plans for the sections of the A1 north of Morpeth...

...which are due to be replaced by dual carriageway to provide a continuous double-lane highway from Newcastle to a point near Ellingham (about five miles north of Alnwick). North of Ellingham improvements are planned which include a number of reshaped junctions and some widened sections of road to provide overtaking lanes for both north- and south-bound traffic.

The benefits

The effect overall should be to reduce the frustration of drivers stuck behind slower moving vehicles and improve safety. Highways England expect journey times to be notably shorter between Morpeth and Alnwick, with further benefits between Alnwick and Berwick. They also expect to see fewer casualties, especially involving drivers who have attempted to overtake and failed to complete the manoevre in time to avoid an accident.

The project is currently in a period of public consultation over its recently published plans, especially the provision of three options for the section between Morpeth and Felton. All interested parties, including the general public, are invited to consider the plans and send their views to the planning team. 

CPRE's position

CPRE Northumberland is represented on the panel of interested parties monitoring the scheme, the Stakeholders Reference Group, and will be pressing for the highest level of concern for the beautiful countryside the A1 passes through between Morpeth and Berwick. The issues are complex, with the choice of routes affecting the countryside and the lives of country dwellers and users in different ways, so it is not an easy matter to decide on the option most in keeping with our core values.

Highways England must, of course, respect a wide range of sometimes divergent interests in arriving at its key decisions, but it is reassuring to know that the planning team includes a dedicated Environmental Lead who has been engaged in identifying the most sensitive features and laying plans to safeguard them during planning, construction and restoration. 

The Highways England website includes a section on the consultation for this A1 scheme. The plans are set out in brochures which can be viewed, downloaded or printed out. There is also a proforma for an on-line survey of your views. 

 external website Highways England A1 in Northumberland consultation

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