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Jamie Hardesty

Member Article

NECC back PM plans for A1 and North East roads

Reacting to the news that the Prime Minister has approved plans to upgrade the A1 north of Newcastle, North East Chamber of Commerce Policy and Research Manager, Mark Stephenson, is in support of the investment plan.

Mark said: “To secure investment in this important route through Northumberland after so many years of lobbying by businesses and communities along the A1 is a step forward although we await detail on the extent of the investment.

“It is a decision that could pay dividends in our region and North of the Border. The North East is the closest English region to Scotland’s economic heartbeat and better links with Edinburgh and its industrial hub can only be of benefit.

“It is worth remembering that Northumberland is key part of our £3.5 billion tourism offer. Easing movement to and through the county can only help it deliver more to our visitor economy.”

“Likewise, access to and from the ports of Blyth and Tyne, Newcastle Airport and some of our key employment centres will all be more efficient with an upgraded A1.”

Former NECC President and Chairman, and Executive Chairman of haulier Ferguson Transport, Alan Ferguson, said:“I, along with so many others, have been campaigning for this upgrade for years so for the Prime Minister to announce this development is very promising news.

“Of course it is helpful for the transportation of goods to market and will certainly improve efficiencies for businesses moving around the region, but the real bonus for hauliers such as myself is that it will reduce journey times, making us more productive and competitive.

“Improving the road network also makes us much more attractive to inward investors, which can only be a good thing for the North East economy.”

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