Highways England appoints Arup for £600,000 review into improving A1 in East of England

A review worth nearly £600,000 will explore options for improving the A1 in the East of England to motorway standard.

The study is part of the £15 billion government scheme to improve Britain’s Roads which saw announcements to ‘grade separate’ the Black Cat roundabout released last December.

Highways England has appointed Arup to carry out the study into improving the A1 from its junction with the M25 to Peterborough. In particular, it will look at the case for improving the non-motorway section linking the two parts of the A1(M).

The strategic study has been commissioned by the Department for Transport. It is one of six studies taking place across England to address the biggest challenges facing the strategic road network.

Arup will review existing evidence and prepare a case to consider further investment on the A1. The study will look at bringing consistency to the southern section of the route and whether improvements, including changing the alignment of the road, could reduce the environmental impact of the existing route and benefit local communities.

Road minister Andrew Jones said: “As part of our long-term economic plan, we are investing over £2 billion on major road improvements in the East of England. Today’s announcement will mean better transport links and more job opportunities for hardworking families across the region.”

Nigel Edwards, divisional director of strategic planning at Highways England, said: “This study could lead to major benefits across the East and I’m pleased we’ve now reached the stage where we can appoint a specialist company to assess the feasibility and start the process.

“The A1 is one of our oldest trunk roads, and also one of the least consistent. This study will examine what could be done to improve the road to motorway standard and bring consistency to the southern section of the route.”

The study is due to be completed by the end of 2016.

Story: Bedfordshire on Sunday