WATCH: Business Secretary backs A1 dualling announcement

Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable has said that the dualling of the A1 in Northumberland is all about ‘unblocking arteries’ to aid economic development.

He joined fellow Lib Dems, MP Sir Alan Beith and prospective parliamentary candidate Julie Pörksen, on the road at Felton this morning to endorse the Coalition Government’s commitment to a £290million upgrade to the road.

Vince Cable, Julie Porksen and Sir Alan Beith at the A1 in Northumberland

Vince Cable, Julie Porksen and Sir Alan Beith at the A1 in Northumberland

Speaking to Northeast Press, he said: “It’s absolutely crucial that we unblock the arteries that are stopping the economy developing, particularly in the North East of England.

“The reason for being here is to celebrate that after many years of campaigning by Sir Alan Beith, the local MP, he and Julie Pörksen have been able to deliver this final, absolutely key section of the A1.

“It’s notorious for congestion and accidents. Repeatedly, past governments have failed to achieve it and we have now made the funding decision to go ahead with the dualling so it’s a really positive development for the local residents and for the economy of the region as a whole.”

Asked about the potential disappointment of people living north of Ellingham up to Berwick, where the A1 will be improved but not dualled, he added: “The point has been made that it’s the Morpeth to Ellingham section which is critical, that’s where the congestion has been and the accidents and if this is done, it clears away a very substantial bottle-neck.

“Ideally it would be possible to do everything at once, but that’s not unfortunately how transport systems develop.”

For more from Mr Cable, watch the video above.