Sleaford MP presses for action on A1 safety

Calling for action to make A1 safer for constituents. From left - Dr Caroline Johnson MP, Robert Jenrick MP, Jesse Norman MP and John Mann MP. EMN-170714-145024001
Calling for action to make A1 safer for constituents. From left - Dr Caroline Johnson MP, Robert Jenrick MP, Jesse Norman MP and John Mann MP. EMN-170714-145024001

Sleaford and North Hykeham MP has been meeting Highways England and the Roads Minister to push for road improvements to lower the accident rate and death toll on a notorious stretch of the A1

Dr Caroline Johnson MP and Robert Jenrick MP for Newark met on Wednesday this week with the Roads Minister, Jesse Norman to push for action to improve safety on the A1, especially at junctions used by Sleaford area drivers every day.

They were joined by John Mann MP (who represents the Bassetlaw constituency, which also contains a stretch of the A1) and Nick Harris, Executive Director Operations at Highways England.

The MPs asked for a comprehensive safety review of the section of the A1 passing through their constituencies, which has seen a rising number of accidents and fatalities in recent years. They have been approached by individual local residents and parish councils, who are concerned about the danger to motorists of using the road, particularly the junction with the A46 and A17.

Highways England confirmed that their figures showed a high number of accidents along this stretch, and that they were monitoring this as a matter of concern.

The Minister listened to their concerns and agreed that Highways England would begin a review into safety on this stretch of the A1 by the end of this financial year. Money has already been set aside to redevelop the A1/A46/A17 junction near Newark, which is one of the key strategic road interchanges of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire and the process of developing the options for the project is underway. The Minister promised that an agreed route for the new Newark Northern By-pass and scheme for the Brownhills and Winthorpe roundabouts would be ready within two years, for construction work to commence in approximately 2020.

Commenting afterwards, Dr Johnson said: “I am grateful to the minister for taking the time to meet with us today, and for taking our concerns so seriously. I will also be meeting with him in the coming months to discuss the completion of the Lincoln Bypass and to discuss funding to complete the section between North Hykeham and Waddington.”

Mr Jenrick said: “Safety on the A1 is a serious concern to local residents and the regular accidents and resulting gridlock has a major economic impact on the area. I’m pleased a review will now occur. And it was re-assuring to hear that the government remains 100 per cent committed to the Newark Northern By-pass and investing as much as £200m over the next five years in this key point which connects Newark and Lincolnshire in every direction and is essential to our continued economic success.”