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Autumn Statement: A66 is to be dualled

A snow blower gets to work on the blocked A66 between Scotch Corner and Penrith. Credit: John Giles/PA Archive/PA Images

As part of a Department for Transport study on five strategic roads, the government has announced the A66 will be dualled.

The west-bound section of the road from Scotch Corner to Penrith, which has stretches of single carriageway, is considered one of the most dangerous highways in the country.

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Hammond: Employment has grown fastest in the NE

The Chancellor Philip Hammond, delivering his first autumn statement, revealed employment has grown fastest in the North East and confirmed changes to Universal credit at a cost of 700 million pounds.

For those who claim that the recovery is just a South East phenomenon, I have some news. Over the past year employment grew fastest in the North East.

– Chancellor Philip Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: Sunderland surgeries 'in crisis' as GP numbers fall

There are claims that the crisis facing GP practices in the North East which could mean some surgeries closing within a year. Figures obtained by ITV Tyne Tees show the number of GPs in Sunderland has fallen by 25% in two years.

Across the region, the number of patients competing to see their local doctor is higher than the rest of England. Local health bosses say General Practice is at breaking point.

The Government says it is spending £2.4 billion pounds to train and recruit more GPs, but Sunderland MP Bridget Phillipson, who uncovered the figures and shared them exclusively with ITV Tyne Tees, says not enough is being done in understaffed areas like the North East.

Daniel Hewitt reports.

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