New super-councils have joined together to call for one of the country's most major roads to be brought to the North East.
The North East Combined Authority (neca), North Yorkshire County Council and Tees Valley Unlimited are today launching a call for evidence to bring the M1 to the region.
All three authorities are confident the move would help show businesses were connected to their key markets - a crucial way of attracting investment from home and abroad.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in his 2015 Summer Budget that, “the government will look into the case for renaming the A1(M) north of Leeds as the M1”.
The call for evidence on extending the M1 to the North East is in response to this and is being launched in consultation with the Department for Transport.
This proposal reflects a lot of work to upgrade the A1 to motorway standard, with investment of over £700m over 10 years. On current plans, this should be completed by 2017 raising the question of how the new motorway route should be named.
Councillor Nick Forbes, Chair of the Transport North East Committee and neca lead member for transport, said: "The North East has been separated from the national motorway network since it was created in the 1950s.
“Now at last there’s the prospect of us accessing transport links which other regions take for granted.
“Connecting the North East to the M1 would send a strong message to business and inward investors that we are a connected region, trading within the UK and with the world.”