THE decision to scrap the upgrading of the stretch of the A1 between Leeming and Barton is most disappointing, not just for North Yorkshire but the whole of the North-East.

The completing of the motorway link to the rest of the country, which had been campaigned for over so many years, was tantalisingly in sight.

Just a few miles of three-lane motorway standard road would have connected the region to the rest of the UK with something which almost every other part of the country takes for granted.

Instead, we have to settle for the dangerous dual carriageway, with its crossing points and sub-standard entrances and exits, features which will become even more hazardous owing to their rarity. Drivers coming north will have travelled 60-80 miles on the very best motorway standard road before hitting the old A1 just north of Leeming. The first junction after that is the Kirkby Fleetham crossing point, a notorious accident blackspot.

Most people will accept the reason for the cancellation of the project – it is just one of number of things the country can’t now afford. But it is reasonable to expect some funds to be spent to make the remaining non-motorway stretch of the A1 safer. Completion of the work up to Leeming will undoubtedly make the unimproved stretch more dangerous.