CBI calls for more flights to boost North East trade

The business organisation the CBI says the North East is missing out on millions of pounds in trade because there are too few flights to key markets.

It is calling for more direct services from Newcastle Airport; in particular to the the United States.

The CBI is also calling for speedy improvements to the A1 western bypass on Tyneside to make it easier for travellers to get to the airport.

Watch Helen Ford's full report here. It begins at a Northumberland company which relies on air travel to do business.

The Roads Minister Stephen Hammond has responded to the calls for improved road links to Newcastle airport. He said:

'The Government has already committed £64 million to create new roads in both directions parallel to the existing A1 between Lobley Hill and A184 in Gateshead improving access to the airport.

This will provide an alternative route for local traffic improving congestion and accident rates, while creating 22,000 new jobs.

Subject to the completion of statutory processes, construction work will start in 2014 and be open for traffic by 2016.'

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CBI: Region missing out on millions

Transport links need to improve if the region is not to lose out, according to business lobbying group the CBI.