Prime Minister David Cameron this morning visited Fergusons transport depot at Cramlington, to announce the £290m package to upgrade stretches of the road.
The plans will result in a dual carriageway from Morpeth to Ellingham, and will include enhancements from Ellingham to Berwick including passing lanes and better crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.
Mr Cameron said the ‘work starts now’, and told the Highways Agency it can start spending the money today on the necessary preparations.
Work on the dualling should start in the next Parliament and improvements north of Ellingham could start even sooner.
Mr Cameron said: “We don’t build roads as quickly as they do in China, because we’re a democracy and we have to go through all the proper procedures.
“I have made it clear to the Highways Agency that they can start spending the money today on the preparations necessary. They believe they will be able to get this started during the next Parliament. On the improvements north of Ellingham, they may be able to get started faster in terms of overtaking lanes.
“The work starts now, the money’s available now and they can get moving from today.”