§ Mr. Key
The Department met Tyne and Wear passenger transport executive and the local highway 511W authority Gateshead metropolitan borough council to discuss public transport issues as part of the consultation on the A1 Gateshead western bypass scheme.
Specialist sub-consultants in transportation were appointed to carry out an appraisal of the public transport issues involved and their report was fully considered before a decision was made on the preferred route.
A review of existing information regarding current public transport services and future proposals in Tyne and Wear was carried out. Consultations were held with the local authorities in the area including Gateshead MBC.
The final report concluded thatthe impact of public transport improvements on the A1 corridor is likely to be small, even with the best possible system".
Further, the final conclusion indicated thatthey (public transport improvements) are not an alternative to improving the road network at this particular location".
§ Mr. Jack Thompson
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress is being made in the programme to dual carriageway the A1 between Newcastle and Edinburgh; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Key
Two sections of dual carriageway have been completed and opened to traffic at Marshall Meadows and Brownieside. Two schemes to complete the dualling of the Alnwick bypass are in preparation. A scheme to complete the continuous dualling between Newcastle and north of Alnwick is in the road programme currently under review. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport expects to announce the results of the review shortly.
In Scotland proposals have been published for dualling between Tranent and Haddington and two small schemes south of Dunbar. A further five dualling schemes are in preparation.
Further progress on the upgrading of the A1 will depend upon potential schemes meeting environmental, economic and safety objectives, the overall availability of resources and the relative claims of potential schemes elsewhere in the country.