The UK Department of Transport (DfT) has revealed proposals to identify the A1 north of Newcastle to the Scottish border a route of strategic national importance.

The initiative will see about 65 miles of the A1 join a list of key roads that the department will consider for funding from the national budget for road improvements.

The proposal is part the Government’s effort to ensure proper recognition of the economic importance of routes from England to the capital cities of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The DfT said the move will not guarantee funding for major improvements, but it will recognise the road’s importance for freight and other strategic traffic travelling between Newcastle and Edinburgh.

The A1 is the longest numbered road in the UK at 410 miles (660km) connecting London with Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland.