The A1 through Yorkshire should be renamed the Queen's Highway to mark the Platinum Jubilee, says MP Edward Leigh

A Conservative MP has launched a campaign to rename the A1 the Queen's Highway to mark the monarch's Platinum Jubilee.

Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) told the Commons the "beautiful" Great North Road between London and Edinburgh via Yorkshire should be renamed after the Queen to celebrate her 75 years on the throne next year.

Transport minister Rachel Maclean said she agrees "fully" with Sir Edward's suggestion, adding that she is sure Grant Shapps will "consider" the proposal.

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Traffic on the A1 at Bramham, near Wetherby. Pic by Simon Hulme

The A1 is the longest numbered road in the UK, at 410 miles and connects London with Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It passes by Retford, Doncaster, York, Ripon and Darlington.

The course of the road has changed where towns or villages have been bypassed, and where new alignments have taken a slightly different route, while several sections of the route have been upgraded to motorway standard and designated A1(M).

Speaking during Transport questions, Sir Edward said: "The A1, the Great North Road, is a beautiful road linking Scotland and England - and I think, to honour the upcoming Jubilee, we should rename it the Queen's Highway, why not?

"But it is not an entirely safe road. I have spent hundreds of hours on it, there are many fatalities on it."

Sir Edward told MPs he "cannot understand why all the roundabouts have been stripped away".

He continued: "So, will the minister now commit to really upgrading the A1 to make it entirely safe? Get rid of all the traffic lights, the roundabouts, the crossing points, and let's make it a true Queen's Highway."

Ms Maclean replied: "Well, I thank (Sir Edward) very much, and I fully agree with his suggestion for renaming this beautiful road as he sets out.

"And I am sure that the Transport Secretary, who is listening carefully, will take that away and consider it.

"But I am happy to say to (Sir Edward) that we are investing significant sums in making the A1 safer and more reliable."