Significantly fewer minor road junctions are now being proposed for closure under the A1 iunctions improvement scheme, correspondence has revealed.
The letter, which came from the Strategic Roads Improvement Team of Roads Service Southern Division, could not confirm any decision on the preferred option, but did indicate that the earliest any works would start on the scheme would be 2019.
The phase 2 proposals under the junctions improvement scheme were put forward in response to safety concerns about right turning manoeuvres through numerous gaps in the central median, along with the absence of a central safety barrier and the frequency of minor road junctions on the northern section of the A1 dual carriageway.
The correspondence said: “Whilst I am not yet in a position to confirm the preferred option I can reassure you that we have taken on board the extensive feedback received both at the public information event held in November 2013 and over the following months. This feedback has helped inform the emerging proposal.
“I can confirm that significantly fewer minor road junctions are now proposed for closure than was indicated at the information event. I hope to be in a position to confirm the preferred option in the near future.
“As with all our Major Works projects it is difficult to indicate when this scheme may commence on site, however, I would estimate the earliest that any works could start would be 2019 subject to the proposal continuing to have a satisfactory economic appraisal, clearing the statutory procedures, and the funding being made available in future budget settlements.”
Meanwhile a statement from the Department for Regional Development said: “Significant development work has already been undertaken regarding the A1 junctions Phase 2 proposal, however, much still remains.
“The next stage includes completing the detailed design and then presenting the proposal through the Environmental Statement, Direction Order and Vesting Order statutory procedures. This process may include public inquiries.”
The statement went on to highlight that there are still a number of requirements which must be attained before work can commence.
“Delivery of the proposal remains subject to statutory procedures, having a satisfactory economic appraisal and is dependent on future funding levels. It is expected that it would take around five years to complete this work.
“The final decision on the preferred option for the scheme is currently under consideration”.