Massive £250m-plus A1 upgrade moves a step closer as plans submitted
‘Vital’ work to cut congestion on a two and a half mile stretch of the A1 in Gateshead has moved a step closer after an application has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.
Plans to improve the dual carriageway between Birtley and the Coal House roundabout, which leads on to the Team Valley, had been due to take place this year but work was delayed when resources were focused on upgrading the A19 around Sunderland .
But now the Planning Inspectorate has accepted Highways England’s application for the improvements, which if approved will begin by late 2020.
The scheme, which will cost anywhere between £250m and £350m, proposes widening of the A1 south of Gateshead to four lanes between junction 65 and 67 on the southbound carriageway.
Three lanes with an additional lane will also help manage traffic joining and leaving the A1 between junctions on the northbound carriageway.
Sarah Richards, chief executive of The Planning Inspectorate, said: “After careful consideration, we have decided the application submitted by Highways England meets the required tests set out in the legislation to be accepted for examination.
“A major priority for us over the next few weeks is to ensure that the people and communities who may be affected by this proposal have the opportunity to give us their views.”
Highways England will now invite people who are interested in the proposal to register with the Planning Inspectorate as an interested party by making a relevant representation.
Interested parties in an application can:
- Say what they agree or disagree with in the application and why
- Comment on what other people have said in their representations
- Attend a Preliminary Meeting and say how they think the application should be examined
- Request that an open floor hearing is held
- Attend an open floor or issue-specific hearing
- Request to speak at a hearing.
The decision and a copy of the application documents can be viewed here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/North%20East/A1-Birtley-to-Coal-House-Improvement-Scheme/