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Commuter delays and tailbacks on the A1 near Newark costing the economy £1,390 per day, Midlands Connect research reveals

Delays along the A1 are costing almost £1.75m to the economy every year, new research has revealed.

Researchers for sub-national transport body, Midlands Connect, analysed the cost of delays to the economy on the A1 in the Midlands, between Stamford and junction 34 near Worksop — including the entire stretch of the major road near Newark.

Their research, released today (November 10), found delays for road users including commuters, lorry drivers, and more cost millions of pounds to the economy.

The A1 at Newark.
The A1 at Newark.

Commuters along the road lose £1,390 every single day, and HGV drivers lose £513,758 a year.

It also found that on Fridays in July and August the delays are 677% higher than a ‘typical’ weekday.

On a typical Friday in July and August commuters lose £5,352, a 285% increase in cost compared to a typical weekday, and HGV drivers lose £7,148, which is a 252% increase on their working journeys mid-week.

Across all groups the increase in the cost of delays on the A1 on a Summer Friday is 378% higher, with delays observed more in the afternoon, compared to before 9am mid-week.

Researches concluded this could be linked to summer weekend getaways, illustrating the importance of, and impact of, tourism along the key national corridor.

The economic impact of delays was calculated by Midlands Connect using an economic model that assesses the lost value of time for cars, vans, and HGVs, for business, commuting and leisure journeys.

Swati Mittal, strategic roads manager at Midlands Connect, said: “These delays are real in lost or delayed orders and the loss of time of commuters getting to work, and people going to the shops, restaurants or the cinema.

“Even small delays on our roads can have colossal impacts on the economy, especially with some many companies and manufacturers working on small margins and tight deadlines to get raw materials in and high-quality products out.

“Midlands Connect is working with local councils and National Highways to make the case for upgrades to the A1 to improve safety and speed along the route.”

Improvements at the A1 and A52 junction at Grantham have been identified as a priority upgrade by Midlands Connect and councils.

They are asking the Government to award the project support as part of its Road Investment Strategy Three. If successful, this could mean that National Highways is given funding to deliver the improvements between 2025 to 2030.

Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton, said: “The A1 is a critical UK artery and an important piece of national infrastructure. These findings reinforce the strategic case for serious investment in the A1, so that we can improve our economic resilience as well as move forward with new safety upgrades.

"As chairman of the A1 working group of MPs, I will continue to push for the right long-term plan to ensure that the A1 unlocks growth across our country including for Rutland, Stamford and Leicestershire, and am grateful to Midlands Connect for this important work.”

Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council added: “The figures outlined are very concerning. Delays such as these highlighted further underline the critical need for this funding award from Government to happen.

“We need this well-known pinch-point can be taken care of at the earliest opportunity.”

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