Anne-Marie Trevelyan – MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed – was invited to visit one of Highways England’s trench sites last week, which forms part of the extensive archaeological surveys presently underway as part of the ongoing plans to dual the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham.
The MP, whose “Dual the A1” campaign succeeded in guaranteeing the £290million needed to dual the section of road in 2015, has been keeping a close eye on the detailed plans at every stage.
The Planning Inspector’s official examination into the plans - a legal requirement with such large infrastructure projects - closed on 5th July. There will now be a period of three months for the Examining Authority to write its report and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then have three months in which to make a decision.
In the meantime, Highways England is carrying out archaeological excavations in key locations which also allows contractors to conduct necessary surveys. To date, over 850 trenches have been dug in connection with this project.
The MP was met on site at Rock Farm South by Shiona MacDonald and Tara McCully of contracting partner Costain, and Tsuwun Bevan, Tim, Gamon and Kate Read of Highways England. She was shown some of the trenches as well as some of the artefacts discovered so far.
Speaking of the visit, Anne-Marie said:
“I am amazed by the number of trenches that have been dug and I’m very pleased that we are only awaiting the Examiner’s recommendations and the Secretary of State’s. Hopefully Highways England and their contractors can start work very soon. I am immensely grateful to the team at Highways England, they have produced a highly imaginative and professional plan. I can’t wait to see their plan turn into reality.”
Highways England webpage for the scheme: https://highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/yorkshire-and-north-east/a1-morpeth-to-ellingham-dualling/
Planning Inspectorate website for the Examination: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/north-east/a1-in-northumberland-morpeth-to-ellingham/