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Friday 10 November 2023

A1 Delays: Tailbacks for commuters cost economy £1,390 per day

  • On Fridays in July and August the delays are 677% higher than a ‘typical’ weekday
  • Costs the economy £1.75 million per year

New research released today (10th November) by Sub-national Transport Body Midlands Connect has found that delays along the A1 are costing almost £1.75m to the economy every year, with delays on Friday’s in July and August up to a ‘colossal’ 677% worse than an average weekday.

Researchers for subnational transport body, Midlands Connect, analysed the cost of delays to the economy on the A1 in the Midlands, between Stamford and junction 34 near Worksop. They found delays for road users including commuters, lorry drivers, and more cost millions of pounds to the economy.

The analysis showed that over the course of a year almost £1.75m is lost to the economy due to the delays. This means that commuters along the road lose £1,390 every single day and HGV drivers lose £513,758 a year.

On a typical Friday in July and August commuters lose £5,352, a 285% increase in cost compared to a typical weekday, and HGV drivers lose £7,148, which is a 252% increase on their working journeys mid-week. Across all groups the increase in the cost of delays on the A1 on a Summer Friday is 378% higher, with delays observed more in the afternoon, compared to before 9am mid-week. This could be linked to summer weekend getaways, illustrating the importance of, and impact of, tourism along this key national corridor.

The economic impact of delays done by Midlands Connect is calculated using economic model that assesses the lost value of time for cars, vans, and HGVs, for business, commuting and leisure journeys.

Improvements at the A1/A52 junction at Grantham have been identified as a priority upgrade by Midlands Connect and local councils. The improvements will support local growth as well as maintain the strategic performance of the A1 and A52 and maximise the benefits of the Grantham Southern Relief Road for the town. The partnership want Government to award the project support as part of its Road Investment Strategy 3 (RIS3). If successful, this could mean that National Highways is given funding to deliver the improvements between 2025 to 2030.

Swati Mittal, Strategic Roads Manager at Midlands Connect, commenting on the new figures said:

“These delays are real in lost or delayed orders and the loss of time of commuters getting to work, and people going to the shops, restaurants or the cinema.

“Even small delays on our roads can have colossal impacts on the economy, especially with some many companies and manufacturers working on small margins and tight deadlines to get raw materials in and high-quality products out.

“Midlands Connect is working with local councils and National Highways to make the case for upgrades to the A1 to improve safety and speed along the route.”

Alicia Kearns MP, Member of Parliament for Rutland and Melton said:

“The A1 is a critical UK artery and an important piece of national infrastructure. These findings reinforce the strategic case for serious investment in the A1, so that we can improve our economic resilience as well as move forward with new safety upgrades.

"As Chair of the A1 working group of MPs, I will continue to push for the right long-term plan to ensure that the A1 unlocks growth across our country including for Rutland, Stamford and Leicestershire, and am grateful to Midlands Connect for this important work.”

Cllr Richard Davies, Executive member for Highways at Lincolnshire County Council said:

“The figures outlined are very concerning. Delays such as these highlighted further underline the critical need for this funding award from Govt to happen.

“We need this well-known pinchpoint can be taken care of at the earliest opportunity.”


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