Skip to content
Join us

NECC Calls for Help for Businesses to Bypass Congestion

 

The North East's largest business membership organisation has called on the Government to address congestion on one of the North East's most important roads.

NECC Calls for Western Bypass UpgradeThe North East's largest business membership organisation has called on the Government to address congestion on one of the North East's most important roads.

The North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) wants to see rapid action to alleviate the worsening traffic bottleneck on the A1 western bypass.

NECC has written to the Department of Transport lending its weight to the campaign for an upgrade to the Lobley Hill/A184 junction of the clogged stretch of road.

North East Chamber of Commerce Director of Policy, Ross Smith, said:

"The A1 western bypass is one of the most heavily congested roads in the United Kingdom. The section between the Lobley Hill and A184 junctions has been identified by the Highways Agency as the third most congested stretch of road on the national motorway and trunk road network and the most congested regional link in terms of delays.

"It is staggering to think that in excess of 123,000 vehicles use this road every day – this is more than three times its capacity."

The western bypass is the cause of untold inconvenience and expense for people and businesses that depend upon it every day – it is estimated that even the single junction improvement between Lobley Hill and the A184 will relieve this significantly.

It is estimated that the benefit to cost ratio of the project is 7:1 with the entire capital cost of roughly £70m relatively low given the positive impact it will have.

The western bypass is significant in the regional network as it is the principle link to the North East's largest airport which serves 4.5 million people every year and contributes almost one percent (£400m) to North East GVA while supporting 8,500 jobs.

"Our members have, for many years, been emphatic that this stretch of road is an unnecessary cause of delay and cost. Strategic routes such as this must be top of the list when funding becomes available," added Ross

"Given the importance of Newcastle International Airport to the wider North East economy, specifically for our growing number of exporters, links to it must be prioritised to ensure that its vital role in supporting businesses, and therefore economic growth, is not further undermined."

NECC welcomed the recent decision by the DfT to fast track preparation of the A19/A1058 Coast Road junction - another strategic route that has created costly delays for many businesses – which combined with the upgrade of the Tyne Tunnel, will make an enormous contribution to reducing traffic congestion.