1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

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Sam
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1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Sam » Wed Sep 07, 2011 16:39

Those from around the Gateshead area are probably familiar with the lovely Little Theatre, near Saltwell Park (address is 3 Saltwell View). (OK, the exterior building isn't particularly lovely, but the interior and what goes on inside are rather more pleasant!)

I was just reading the history of the theatre on their website and there's an interesting reference to the threat of a road being driven through the theatre. This first popped up in 1965, but was cancelled in 1974 - see this page for more.

I guess this would have been an A1 bypass through Low Fell rather than around it! And presumably it would have driven through most of Saltwell Park in the process. (Or I suppose it could have been a much smaller road, but still...)

This is a new plan to me : was anyone else aware of it?

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1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Mark Hewitt » Wed Sep 07, 2011 20:25

Yeah often referred to as the Saltwell Park motorway to continue on from the current A167 D2 plough through housing and the top of the park then again through terraced housing and linking up to the CME bypass via the Gateshead flyover bypass and the new bridge over the Tyne.

It was a non starter really but anything was possible in the 60's!
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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Truvelo » Tue May 18, 2021 13:03

The theatre wasn't actually directly affected by the new road although some of the earthworks may have impacted on number 1 Saltwell View. It was one of the link roads connecting the side roads which would have cut through it.
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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by M19 » Tue May 18, 2021 15:38

Truvelo wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 13:03
The theatre wasn't actually directly affected by the new road although some of the earthworks may have impacted on number 1 Saltwell View. It was one of the link roads connecting the side roads which would have cut through it.
Interesting. Anything more to share to reveal the proposed full alignment of this proposal and any junctions?
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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Mark Hewitt » Tue May 18, 2021 18:25

The website mentioned in the original post is now here
http://www.littletheatregateshead.co.uk/history.html
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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Truvelo » Tue May 18, 2021 19:05

M19 wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 15:38
Interesting. Anything more to share to reveal the proposed full alignment of this proposal and any junctions?
There were three GSJ's between the Gateshead Viaduct and the existing GSJ at Harlow Green Lane. The most interesting is the junction allowing freeflowing movements between the bypass-Durham Road-Prince Consort Road which is very similar to the A666 junction just south of Bolton at Manchester Road.
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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Glenn A » Fri May 21, 2021 19:40

Madness, and this part of Gateshead was one of the most desirable parts of the town with Saltwell Park and the edge of the middle class enclave of Low Fell. Luckily common sense prevailed and the town was by passed to the west in the seventies.

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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Truvelo » Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:11

I have finally finished the map showing this. In addition to the A1 there was also the east-west route which would have seen Askew Road join the A1 at a freeflow junction.

https://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/maps/ind ... 15&layer=1
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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by jackal » Mon Dec 06, 2021 12:09

Interesting. The limited access freeflow GSJ with Prince Consort Rd is somewhat reminiscent of M2 J2 (NI) or I guess M23 J7 were it completed as planned.

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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Mark Hewitt » Mon Dec 06, 2021 17:26

Presumably this would have been similar standard to the A167 past the Angel that currently exists?
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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Truvelo » Mon Dec 06, 2021 18:12

Mark Hewitt wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 17:26
Presumably this would have been similar standard to the A167 past the Angel that currently exists?
Yes, the section as far as the GSJ at Harlow Green was built in anticipation of this.
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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by DB124 » Mon Dec 06, 2021 19:36

Does anyone have detailed plans of the various motorways through central Newcastle? PM has a decent map but it's not particularly clear. The only ones I could find on SABRE are this and this, which are equally low-quality and contradict each other and PM on the finer details, whilst the fascinating details Truvelo has revealed above seem absent. The Coast Road Motorway (Was it meant to run to Tynemouth as D2M? The space is there!), Gosforth Eastern Bypass and Friar's Goose Crossing are all also not shown in any detail. If anyone has a full layout and suchlike it would be much appreciated. :D

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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by JammyDodge » Mon Dec 06, 2021 20:08

Its kind of insane thinking about, what it would have been like to have all these urban motorways,
But at the same time I am glad it all wasn't built and we got the metro instead
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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Mark Hewitt » Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:17

JammyDodge wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 20:08
Its kind of insane thinking about, what it would have been like to have all these urban motorways,
But at the same time I am glad it all wasn't built and we got the metro instead
If you look at the existing A167 as a guide I don't think it would have looked ridiculously out of place any more than that road does now.

It may have ended up being designated as motorway much like the central motorway and that brings on ideas of the likes of D3M or something like Glasgow. But this would have been just an urban D2 which we wouldn't think that unusual if it was built
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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by KeithW » Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:33

Mark Hewitt wrote:
Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:17
JammyDodge wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 20:08
Its kind of insane thinking about, what it would have been like to have all these urban motorways,
But at the same time I am glad it all wasn't built and we got the metro instead
If you look at the existing A167 as a guide I don't think it would have looked ridiculously out of place any more than that road does now.

It may have ended up being designated as motorway much like the central motorway and that brings on ideas of the likes of D3M or something like Glasgow. But this would have been just an urban D2 which we wouldn't think that unusual if it was built

As here in Leeds with the A58(M)
https://www.google.com/maps/@53.8014269 ... 92!5m1!1e1

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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Truvelo » Tue Dec 07, 2021 12:03

DB124 wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 19:36
Does anyone have detailed plans of the various motorways through central Newcastle? PM has a decent map but it's not particularly clear. The only ones I could find on SABRE are this and this, which are equally low-quality and contradict each other and PM on the finer details, whilst the fascinating details Truvelo has revealed above seem absent. The Coast Road Motorway (Was it meant to run to Tynemouth as D2M? The space is there!), Gosforth Eastern Bypass and Friar's Goose Crossing are all also not shown in any detail. If anyone has a full layout and suchlike it would be much appreciated. :D
I have struggled to find much in the way of detailed plans. The Shields Road Motorway is online here and is as good as it gets. There is an item at Newcastle Library regarding the coast road motorway extension through Jesmond dated 1967 which sounds promising but I'm not travelling that far to view one item on the off chance it may contain some decent plans. Maybe someone local could pop in and take a look. I also have an accurate route plan for the Gosforth Bypass but it lacks junction layouts :@
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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Steven » Tue Dec 07, 2021 13:01

DB124 wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 19:36
The only ones I could find on SABRE are this and this, which are equally low-quality and contradict each other and PM on the finer details, whilst the fascinating details Truvelo has revealed above seem absent.
The difficulty is that plans until they end up built are always in a state of flux, and so often "the plan" is a thing that doesn't exist, just "the plan on a particular date". Additionally, items in archives get misfiled regularly; often contain "refer to Plan marked A" which isn't in the file; or things are simply binned and so you end up with a jigsaw puzzle that has to be put together.

To give an example, both the Department for Transport and the Highways Agency (as was) deny having plans for junction layouts for the Western Orbital, but we can work out from the borehole records that some design work was clearly done, and from putting all the various pieces together we can make a "best guess" at it.

The PM Tyneside articles are based around documentation I found in the National Archives, in Newcastle upon Tyne Archives, and also in Tyne Wear Transport Plan for the 1980s, which I have a copy of. Now of course, I had one afternoon in Newcastle to find things, so it's hardly surprising that if Truvelo visited there on a different day, then he would find different files that show slightly different things, but it all goes together to work out a timeline for each proposal. As long as each reporting is accurate, it doesn't mean that one of them is wrong.

And of course, more things are discovered as time goes by - for example, if you read The Website Formerly Known as CBRD's massive Ringways pages, you'll learn that Ringway 3's west side was killed off in May 1973. And indeed, that was as far as we knew, true at the time. However, more documentation has since shown up to say that it was still in the roads programme into the late 1970s, but in what detailed form we don't yet know. It's an ever moving target...
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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Paul7755 » Tue Dec 07, 2021 14:08

DB124 wrote:
Mon Dec 06, 2021 19:36
. The Coast Road Motorway (Was it meant to run to Tynemouth as D2M? The space is there!),
As a youngster I watched the coast road improvements being built and it was always intended to be and opened as what we’d call D3 all purpose, (at least east of Chillingham Rd), however it was usually referred to by the general public as the “coast road motorway”. The general reduction to two lanes came much later.

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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Chris5156 » Tue Dec 07, 2021 14:57

Everything Steven writes about researching unbuilt roads is entirely true. It's like trying to nail jelly to a wall, with the added disadvantage that you don't necessarily know that the jelly exists, and nor do the people in charge of retrieving the jelly from the cupboard for you.
Steven wrote:
Tue Dec 07, 2021 13:01
And of course, more things are discovered as time goes by - for example, if you read The Website Formerly Known as CBRD's massive Ringways pages, you'll learn that Ringway 3's west side was killed off in May 1973. And indeed, that was as far as we knew, true at the time. However, more documentation has since shown up to say that it was still in the roads programme into the late 1970s, but in what detailed form we don't yet know. It's an ever moving target...
The west side of Ringway 3 might be one of the most frustrating of all - the map at the bottom of that page, where all the possible alignments are overlaid together, was something I initially made just to try and make sense of my own research because there were so many different options all with overlapping timescales.

I haven't forgotten that the post-1973 entries for R3 in the roads programme need to be added to that page - it's on my list!

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Re: 1960s road proposals in Low Fell, Gateshead

Post by Steven » Tue Dec 07, 2021 15:04

Chris5156 wrote:
Tue Dec 07, 2021 14:57
Everything Steven writes about researching unbuilt roads is entirely true. It's like trying to nail jelly to a wall, with the added disadvantage that you don't necessarily know that the jelly exists, and nor do the people in charge of retrieving the jelly from the cupboard for you.
Yes, it's something that folk who've never tried to do this simply don't get - there's a kind of idea that there's a nice folder tied up with a bow with everything in it, properly labelled and indexed. And that's so far from the truth as it can be, although there are occasional utter gems you come across.

(that's not meant as a dig at anyone who hasn't done archival research in case it reads like it does - it's just very difficult to explain without sounding that way!)
I haven't forgotten that the post-1973 entries for R3 in the roads programme need to be added to that page - it's on my list!
I know, but it was the best example I could think of where we thought we have something completely sorted and know what happened; and then some more documentation turns up that adds a complete curveball at you. It can be deeply frustrating, as in this case, where it turns up just after something's been committed to publication!
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