THE Chancellor has announced plans to complete the £300m upgrade of the A1 after the project was scrapped in 2010 to cut costs.

It means a 12-mile stretch of the A1 between Leeming Bar and Barton in North Yorkshire will be upgraded to motorway. Work could start as earkly as next year.

The stretch, known as the missing link, was due to be improved along with the road between Dishforth and Leeming Bar, but only the upgrade of the southern section went ahead.

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The announcement, made by George Osborne to Parliament in his autumn statement, was described as “brilliant news” by North Yorkshire county councillor Carl Les, who has been campaigning for the upgrade to be completed.

He said: “It will greatly improve the economic performance of the North of England and Yorkshire.

“It's also very good news for the local communities on either side of the A1.”

The decision to cancel the upgrade was criticised in November last year by North Yorkshire Coroner Michael Oakley at the inquest of elderly couple, William and Dorothy Pritchard, who died after they tried to cross the A1 near Catterick Garrison through a gap in the central reservation.

The upgrade will mean there is continuous motorway from London to Newcastle.