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Added on: 31st May, 2017 by Chris_27325
Andy Preston, Teesside businessman and philanthropist, is calling on wannabe MPs in the Tees Valley to put political differences aside and lobby to end unacceptable delays on the A1 upgrade.
The current roadworks, intended to upgrade the dual carriageway to a three lane motorway between Leeming and Barton were scheduled to be completed in March 2017. However completion is now not expected until the end of the year - a delay which in Mr Prestonís view is one that Tees Valley businesses can ill afford.
He said: ĎThese delays are costing this area money. Increased journey times and detours mean both residents and business people who depend on the A1 are paying a heavy price.í
A 50mph speed limit is currently in force over a twelve mile stretch of the road, causing longer journey times and tailbacks. Almost 70,000 vehicles use the route each day with speed limits adding at least eight minutes to a return journey, meaning an estimated 32,200 hours lost every week.
Mr Preston, whose most recent venture in the area is the Middlesbrough charity restaurant Fork in the Road, says, ďI drive this route almost every day so I know from personal experience how frustrating it can be. Itís got so bad that some days I just canít face the journey or have to cancel meetings because I canít get there on time. ď
But he sees a solution.
ďThe snap general election means we are about to elect seven MPs in the Tees Valley. Iím asking all candidates to lobby the Governmentís transport ministers to bring forward proposals to put a two mile restriction on the 50mph roadworks.Ē
This would mean that only those parts of the motorway where men are actually working would be speed limited, leaving the completed sections delay free.
ďLocal MPs have got to fight for local issues. To date, Iíve not heard any candidates mention this huge local issue. Letís see which of them care enough to make a fuss about this.Ē
Delays affect the journey times of motorists travelling to and from parts of the Tees Valley to London and the South East, the Midlands, The Leeds City region and the Northern parts of the north east..