Business leaders demand upgrade to Sunderland’s congested airport link

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THE GOVERNMENT is being urged to tackle congestion on Wearside’s main link to Newcastle Airport.

The North East Chamber of Commerce has written to the Department of Transport, calling for rapid action to alleviate the worsening traffic bottleneck on the A1 Western Bypass.

The chamber is backing calls for an upgrade to the Lobley Hill/A184 junction of the clogged stretch of road.

Director of Policy Ross Smith said: “The A1 Western Bypass is one of the most heavily-congested roads in the United Kingdom.

“The section between the Lobley Hill and A184 junctions has been identified by the Highways Agency as the third most congested stretch of road on the national motorway and trunk road network and the most congested regional link in terms of delays.

“It is staggering to think in excess of 123,000 vehicles use this road every day – this is more than three times its capacity.”

Newcastle Airport serves 4.5million people a year and is worth almost £400million to the region. It is estimated the £70million A1 project would pay for itself seven times over in terms of economic benefit.