A1 and A19 upgrades gets green light as part of £2.3m North East investment

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A MULTIMILLION- pound scheme to upgrade the A1 north of Newcastle has been announced today.

Government officials said the region will benefit from 18 new road schemes worth around £2.3bn, that will create an estimated 1,500 construction jobs.

Highlights of today’s announcement include:

• a £290m investment to upgrade the A1 from Morpeth to Ellingham to create a new expressway-standard road, along with further improvements between Ellingham and the Scottish border, creating 34 miles of continuous ‘expressway’ dual carriage north of Newcastle;

• more work to reduce congestion on the A1 near Gateshead and Newcastle. Following on from the ongoing £300m widening scheme between Coal House and MetroCentre, work will begin to widen the adjacent section to the south between Coal House and the junction with the A194(M), as well as provision of additional lanes to the north from Scotswood to North Brunton.

• new technology to bring the A1 and A19 to motorway standard, including includes detection loops, CCTV cameras and Variable Message Signs.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said: “I promised when I was in the North East that we would address this area’s economic needs for the future.

‘’Our long-term economic plan means today we can invest £2.3bn into the infrastructure in the North East and Yorkshire to improve, repair and expand our roads. Our plans will transform some of the country’s most important strategic routes, and ambitious projects such as the upgrade of the A1, as well as spending on important local infrastructure, will boost productivity and help the local economy of the North East.

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