Major A1 upgrade gets the green light
The A1 corridor between Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead has received a major investment boost in helping tackle congestion and making this key regional route safer.
Highways England’s application for the A1 Birtley to Coal House Improvement Scheme between junctions 65 and 67 has been granted development consent by the Secretary of State for Transport (on Tuesday 19 January).
The project, which runs by the nearby Angel of the North landmark, is four miles in length and will see the widening of the A1 south of Gateshead to four lanes on the southbound carriageway and three lanes on the northbound carriageway to provide additional capacity.
The scheme, which also includes replacing Allerdene Railway Bridge immediately south of the existing structure, is the latest of more than 35 Highways England’s major improvement projects across England – eight in Yorkshire and the North East.
Highways England Project Manager, Nicola Wilkes said:
“We’re delighted to receive the Secretary of State’s decision, which represents a major step forward in developing a project to unlock congestion, improve safety, and promote economic growth in the North East.
“The A1 is an extremely important route for the region and this major upgrade will add to the regional investment already taking place in the North East, such as the nearby improvement work A1 between junction 74 at Scotswood and 79 at North Brunton, where we’re adding an extra lane on both carriageways, providing drivers with safer, smoother and more reliable journeys.”
Costain has been appointed as Highways England’s Delivery Integration Partner under the Regional Delivery Partnership framework to design and build the Birtley to Coal House Improvement Scheme with strategic partner Jacobs. Highways England is currently assessing timescales to start the programme of work, expected to be no later than this summer.
The development consent comes at a time where major improvement work to transform the A1 between junction 74 at Scotswood and 79 at North Brunton reaches its next milestone.
Since work started last year to add an additional lane in both directions on the five-mile stretch, 16,000 tonnes of material have been excavated out of the central reservation and has been hardened with 5,880 tonnes of tarmac.
A new 3,750-metre concrete safety barrier has been installed, a key part of the project, so preparation work can start in the verges for the construction of the additional lane.
The change in the temporary road layout will change significantly over the coming weeks with several overnight (8pm – 6am) closures, mainly full northbound carriageway closures between junctions 73 and 77 and full southbound closures between junctions 79 and 77.
Clearly signed diversions will be in place. Drivers are urged to register for updates regarding the upgrade, closures and diversion routes by visiting https://
For further information on the A1 Birtley to Coal House upgrade, go to: https://highwaysengland.
The latest Government travel advice can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/