Fergusons Transport


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Mike Penning MP Amending the Strategic National Corridors

On the 16th of September 2010, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Penning MP, announced the start of a consultation on amending the Strategic National Corridors in order to promote connectivity with the capital cities of the United Kingdom.

The Strategic National Corridors were identified in 2009 in order to recognise the strategic importance of routes linking the largest cities with the busiest ports and airports in England, and of links with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The criteria defining the infrastructure contained in each corridor did not, however, specify the inclusion of links with Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.

The proposed change would result in two routes being identified as having national significance: namely the A1 between its junction with the A19 north of Newcastle, and the Scottish border, providing a defined link to Edinburgh; and a route between Bootle and the Twelve Quays Ferry Terminal in Birkenhead, providing connectivity with Belfast. Routes linking the network with Cardiff were identified in 2009.

A1 Between Morpeth and Alnwick

In his statement the Minister said:



“The Government believes that the routes linking Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast to the nearest urban strategic destination should be recognised for the strategic connectivity that they provide. For this reason I am today launching a consultation on proposals to change the definition, to explicitly include links with our capital cities.”




The consultation document, which sets out the rationale behind our proposals, and provides questions to guide you in responding to them, can be downloaded from the Department for Transport’s website, at:


We are keen to hear from as many people as possible with a view on this subject, and are asking for feedback both on the criteria change itself, and on the roads we propose to identify as being of national significance. The consultation closes on 10th December 2010.

Alan FergusonAlan Ferguson chairman and owner of Fergusons Transport Ltd one of the largest hauliers in the northeast of England fully supports the campaign to dual the A1 between Morpeth and Bewick.

Alan has been using the A1 between Blyth to Berwick for many years and is fed up with the lack of anything being done to improve it - despite the "horrendous" number of deaths on the route, below is list some of Alan’s arguments for the upgrade.

  1. The traditional route from London to Scotland has been up the West Coast.  This was decided long ago when the UK’s most important trading partner was the USA along with the Commonwealth countries.  Now that we do most of our trade with Europe it makes more sense to concentrate on the links up the East Coast the most important of which is the A1.
  2. There is a speed limit of 40mph on trucks on all single carriageway trunk roads
  3. The road is used a lot by farm traffic
  4. The recent attempts at safety markings on the road are adding to confusion about when you can pass.

    All the above creates a road that is causing fatalities by frustrating drivers which leads to them taking unnecessary risks.
  5. The road is the main link north to Edinburgh the capital of Scotland and as yet it remains a country lane!
  6. It is a proven fact that investment in road infrastructure leads to economic development
  7. The North East lags behind the rest of the country in GDP, this is a way of pump priming the local economy
  8. When trying to sell the region to foreign investors it is difficult to impress them when we are not connected to other regions by motorway never mind dual carriageway! (I have personal experience in this from my many business trips to Japan etc.)
  9. Car ownership is growing faster in the north than anywhere else in the country, so congestion is going to grow faster here than anywhere else
  10. Car travel is the only viable means of transport for a rural county like Northumberland
  11. The A1 gets congested at different times to other roads, which particularly effects tourists, an industry the region is becoming increasingly reliant upon eg. Sunday afternoons
  12. The Scots have attached much more importance to the road infrastructure having nearly completed the dualling north of the border
  13. The Barnett formula has long disadvantaged the region leading to long term under investment compared to our Scottish neighbours, a fact admitted by Lord Barnett himself. The dualling of the A1 would go towards rebalancing the investment levels.
  14. We all pay far more in road tax than is spent on the roads – how about a little back?

Some of the arguments can just as easily be applied to the lack of a motorway south of Newcastle which we also support, but this campaign is no less valid.