I CONFESS that I could only give two cheers to last week’s announcement that part of the upgraded A1 between Leeming and Barton was to finally open.

On the face of it the lifting of the 50mph speed and removal of the dreaded cones on the stretch up to Catterick was very good news, signalling the beginning of the end of the upgrading process which started back in March 2014.

We should also not forget that together with the Aiskew-Leeming-Bedale bypass the Government has now spent more than £400m on major infrastructure improvements in the constituency in recent years. Across Yorkshire and the North-East, that investment amounts to more than £1.4bn.

But I am also acutely aware that the A1 upgrading process has been very frustrating for local people. My postbag over the last two years is evidence of the many problems you have faced as the seemingly interminable works have progressed.

I have handled many complaints about the diversions, the poor signing of the diversions in some instances and the burden endured by the communities who found themselves on the diversionary routes.

And of course there is the primary concern about the length of time it has taken and the fact that completion has been delayed for at least six months.

There are some good reasons for the delay.

The unexpected archaeological remains the contractors came across had to be investigated fully and properly which takes time and then there have been problems with the embankment on which the Fort Bridge at Catterick rests.

It has proved difficult to keep it stable.

But leaving aside these understandable reasons for the delay, I think I share the frustration of all you in that communication about the delays has been tardy to say the least. At a recent meeting I arranged with Highways England officials to try to get to the bottom of the situation I expressed my disappointment with the way this has been handled.

As things stand the best information I have is that the following the completion of the local access road between Scotch Corner and Brompton on Swale and the remedial works on the Fort Bridge embarkment, the remaining stretch of motorway will open sometime in the “winter of 2017/18”.

Suffice to say I will continue to press Highways England to announce a more specific opening date – and we can all enjoy the benefits of this faster, safer motorway - as soon as possible.

Last Friday I was very impressed to find out how well the new community team running Stokesley library is doing.

The Globe – the new name for “a library but not as you know it” – is now well established as a community-run facility following its transfer from North Yorkshire County Council control earlier this year.

As the library’s new marketing description suggests it is endeavouring to provide a wider range of services and activities than simply loaning books.

New groups based there include a knitting circle and there are plenty of events planned in the future like a murder mystery night on October 19.

All credit to The Globe trustees and the many volunteers for making such a success of the venture.

Lastly, today I am making my second visit to the new community library at Bedale to read a story to pre-school children.

The session is at 2.15pm and it’s absolutely free.