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Not-so super highway
8:50am Friday 6th July 2012 in Leader
WE make no apology for returning to a subject which we fear will be an issue of debate and argument for many years to come – the A1 in North Yorkshire, County Durham’s vital link to the rest of the country.
Yesterday, the upgraded stretch between Dishforth and Leeming was officially opened with a modest ceremony, The achievement deserves to be recognised for it is a beautiful stretch of road – if something as fundamentally utilitarian as a motorway can be described as such.
It is straight, smooth and fast. Already, for most drivers, the 70mph limit is nothing more than a joke. The majority exceed it, and it is hard to blame them.
With its excellent sight lines and generously-sized lanes, this is the standard of road where an argument can be made for a higher speed limit.
But, the excellence of the new road only throws into sharp relief the terrible inadequacies of the A1 between Leeming and Scotch Corner.
We suspect the average speed of northbound traffic on what is a glorified A-road has increased markedly since the new motorway opened. The poor accident rate is set to worsen.
If there is little prospect of the Leeming-Scotch Corner stretch being upgraded in the near future – finally linking County Durham to the national motorway network – action needs to be taken to reduce the speed of vehicles entering this stretch from the south, and suggested safety measures at the junctions need to be implemented quickly.