Renaming the A1 (M) north of Leeds as M1 could boost the county's economy, it has been suggested.
North Yorkshire County Council has joined forces with the North East Combined Authority (NECA) and Tees Valley Unlimited to launch a campaign to rename the main north-south motorway link as the M1 up to Newcastle.
Both authorities, in consultation with the Department for Transport, are asking for evidence in line with the Chancellor’s announcement in his 2015 summer budget that “the government will look into the case for renaming the A1(M) north of Leeds as the M1”.
County Coun Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways said: “Over a number of years, the A1 through North Yorkshire has been progressively upgraded to motorway standard and with the opening of the Leeming to Barton stretch in 2017, there will be a continuous motorway between London and Newcastle.
“There is now an opportunity to have this continuous motorway link recognised as a single road by re-designating the A1(M) as M1. We believe that this relatively simple measure could help in attracting inward investment to the North, but before we make any firm decisions we are eager to find out if local businesses and people also believe this is the case.”
The renaming of the A1(M) as the M1 would provide a motorway linking the capital through North Yorkshire and on to the North East, building on the £380m invested in the current Leeming to Barton motorway upgrade and the previous £315m Dishforth to Leeming scheme, which opened in 2012, both through North Yorkshire.
Coun Mackenzie continued: “We believe that this renaming would give encouragement to businesses and to potential investors that North Yorkshire is the sort of location they are looking to locate their businesses, providing them with the best road and rail links to the rest of the country, as well as being a great place to live.”
The authorities are asking for evidence on the potential benefits for existing businesses being near to the proposed M1, views on the its role in attracting new business to relocate, as well as any costs, or other considerations.
Evidence is to be sent to by e-mail to LTP@northyorks.gov.uk, or by post to Transport Planning, Highways and Transportation, North Yorkshire County Council.