Newark: Renewed calls to turn A1 into motorway after man in his 50s died following crash at Marston Toll Bar junction near Gonerby Moor
A serious accident on the A1 on Thursday of last week has sparked renewed calls for government to turn the road into a motorway, writes Local Democracy Reporter.
A man in his 50s died and another was injured and taken to hospital for treatment following the crash between a van and a car at the Marston Toll Bar junction near Gonerby Moor.
Lincolnshire County Council’s highways chief Richard Davies said his thoughts were with the families of those involved.
“It’s time for government to upgrade the A1 to a motorway,” he tweeted.
“It carries more HGV traffic than M1, so deserves proper funding.”
Speaking to local democracy reporter Daniel Jaines, Mr Davies said the road, particularly between Peterborough and Doncaster, was the poor relation to some others in the country.
He said it had been a massive issue for his and neighbouring wards in his list of concerns since he was elected in 2009.
“It’s the backbone of the East side of the UK but never gets as much attention.”
Lobbies and reports compiled by backers of the proposals, including Midlands Connect, estimate there is an accident that closes the road and grinds traffic to a halt at least once a fortnight, causing massive tailbacks and often lengthy delays for commuters and residents.
And with 100,000 houses planned along the route over the next 20 years, Mr Davies said he was under no illusion about the size of the problem and how it could get worse.
“It’s a real driver for the growth programme, but it needs a fundamental upgrade. Rather than tinkering around the edges, we need to see the road upgraded to a full motorway.”
Carrying out the works would improve safety, connect the midlands to the rest of the country and, on top of other road improvements such as the Lincoln Eastern Bypass and Spalding Western Relief Road, improve the economy by making it easier to access places such as the coast.
The government has for a while been pushing its levelling-up plans.
However, Mr Davies said: “Unless we are going to get proper infrastructure investment on things like the A1, we’re not going to see that level up.”
Mr Davies is under no illusion that the eye-watering cost would be great, but says it would be a fraction of the cost of the controversial HS2 project.