A CAMPAIGN to rebrand the region’s busiest road has won backing from a civil engineering body.

Councils in the region want to rename the A1(M) as the M1, once a £700m upgrade of dual carriageway sections to create an unbroken motorway between London and Newcastle has been completed.

Critics have dismissed the idea as costly window-dressing, but the Institution of Civil Engineers in the North-East has welcomed the proposed change, saying it will highlight the region’s connections with key markets.

Penny Marshall, Director of ICE North East, said: “Renaming the A1, following the completion of the upgrades, could raise the profile of the North-East.

“Whatever its name the creation of a direct motorway link to London will improve our connectivity to the rest of the UK and potentially bring growth to the region”.

She added: “Equally important to the North-East’s growth is improving the capacity and quality of our local road infrastructure.

“We will only seem the benefit of improved connections to other regions if our integrated transport systems are fit for purpose and able to cope.”

The North East Combined Authority, Tees Valley Unlimited and North Yorkshire County Council launched their campaign to “bring the M1 to the North-East” yesterday (THURS).