Autumn Statement: A1 to be upgraded to motorway status

A1 The A1 upgrade is "key to the region's economic prosperity", it is claimed

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The upgrade of the A1 to motorway status between London and Newcastle is to be completed, the chancellor has said in his Autumn Statement.

Work on the 12-mile (19.3km) stretch between Leeming Bar and Barton in North Yorkshire will cost an estimated £314m.

Plans to complete the upgrade of the road were dropped in 2010 as part of cost-cutting measures.

A further £64m will be spent on upgrading the A1 at Lobley Hill, Gateshead, Tyneside.

The work, to begin in 2013/14, will transform the existing dual carriageway to a three-lane road.

John Weighell, Conservative leader of North Yorkshire County Council, said the news was welcome.

He added: "The council has been lobbying for these essential improvements to the major strategic highway through North Yorkshire and the North East.

"We believe the upgrade is a key to the economic prosperity of the region."

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