A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

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Chris56000
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A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by Chris56000 » Thu Jan 27, 2022 22:31

Hi!

Reading the thread on "Debypassed Towns", where the A19 and A689 was mentioned, is there any reason why the two–three miles of the A689 between the A1(M) at junction 60 and Sedgefield hasn't been dualled?

Are there any plans mooted to improve this short section to dual carriageway, completing a continuous D2 route serving Hartlepool from the motorway network, nearer to the town than is currently provided by the A19 from Dishforth?

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by jabbaboy » Thu Jan 27, 2022 23:21

This isn't concrete but I'm assuming because it was built first, it's clearly visible in the 1968 maps on here, and was very likely a S3 they just didn't see the need to upgrade it again to D2.

Doubt it though, there's never really traffic problems and it's not a sensible route for Hartlepool to head either North or South. The A19 all the way upto the A1 or cutting across the A1231 is much quicker North and heading South it's much quicker to go via Dishforth. The only time you'd use it is heading West across the A66.

It would be nice to change it to an overtaking lane officially though rather than the current S3 in everything but the lines.

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by jackal » Thu Jan 27, 2022 23:38

This was referred to as Location 7 in the A66 and A689 Tees Valley Strategic Study:
Option Identification
9.2.1. The study brief requests that the case for dualling the existing single carriageway at
Location 7 (between the A1M J60 and the A177) be investigated.
9.2.2. The current traffic model for the network indicates that the existing links associated with
Location 7 provide sufficient capacity for the opening and design years under
consideration (2020 and 2035) without intervention.
9.2.3. This section, identified by the brief, represents the only remaining section of single
carriageway on an otherwise dual carriageway route between the A1(M) and A19 –
presumably due to difficulties with geometry and existing railway crossings - and as such
could be interpreted as a limitation to the overall performance to the road. However, the
link is generally straight with good overtaking opportunities, high traffic speed and
infrequent accesses which allows for considerably higher traffic volumes than single carriageway roads in general. One option has been explored for Location 7 which
responds to the requirement in the study brief and is summarised in Table 9-1.

Option Sifting
9.2.4. The option for Location 7 has been put forward to the EAST and to traffic modelling to
further examine its viability. The results are summarised in Table 9-2.
9.2.5. As described in traffic modelling strategy in Chapter 3, Location 7 has been modelled as
a dual carriageway in a network which included the intervention work at Location 3,
namely the A66 - A1 J59 (Potential New Link from A1M to A66) -Test DS4. It has been
modelled with this potential new route because the proposed link road is one of the study
area’s better performing options and so has a higher likelihood of implementation. The
results showed that the dualling of Location 7 does not attract any significant traffic
volumes from the rest of the network and makes no noticeable difference to the
remaining network. The addition of the A19 widening scheme, while resulting in
increased traffic flows on this link, still delivers the same findings.
9.2.6. It is considered that, given the favourable results that are apparent in the existing network
model, that dualling this remaining section of carriageway would not present a positive
cost to benefit ratio.
...
Option Progression
9.2.9. Based on the findings of the assessment of this option to date, it is recommended that it
be discounted. The, client may, however, wish to revisit this option when considering
possible strategies for the region.
https://teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/wp-content ... t-P4.0.pdf

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by Mark Hewitt » Fri Jan 28, 2022 07:47

The main issue with this stretch is that it crosses two railway lines in short succession. One over on a narrow bridge and under the ECML again quite narrow.

Traffic sometimes slows down around here but it's not a significant enough issue to warrant dealing with these railway crossings. Indeed delays for the roundabouts are more significant than for this S2 section. It is also wide S2 so overtaking is not impossible.
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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by Rob590 » Fri Jan 28, 2022 09:37

The merit in upgrades along here I'd have thought would be in taking Teeside-bound traffic from central and western parts of County Durham (eg Durham City, Consett) off some of the smaller West-East A roads - the A181 in particular, which takes you through residential and industrial/retail estate parts of Durham, as well as Sherburn House village. If the A689 comprehensively offered a faster route, you'd see more traffic heading to the A689 via either the A1(M) or A167.

However to achieve that you'd need really to reduce the number of roundabouts on the A689 - it's the 5 of those in 9 miles (+ the 2 junction roundabouts for the A1/19) which stops it from being a top quality through road. For the cost of that v the amount of traffic you'd shift I doubt the value is there.

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by jackal » Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:29

Apparently it's 25k AADT. This is virtually the same as the dualled A689. Without knowing the road I suspect it's something of a bottleneck and safety risk, and should be dualled.

Yes, there will be significant expense for the railway bridges, especially the underpass. But it's well within the realm of the possible. The recent A4440 improvement similarly added a second carriageway under a railway: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.16957 ... 384!8i8192 It cost £35m including a short section of dualling.

It would be nice for the at-grade junctions to be gone as well, but that's well into the realm of fantasy and shouldn't preclude more realistic improvements. At-grade DC for 25k AADT is perfectly normal and adequate; S2 isn't.

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by KeithW » Fri Jan 28, 2022 14:37

Well I have driven the road many times and not had much problem but I suspect the cost is only part of the issue. One of the bridges carries the ECML over the A689 so there would be a lively meeting between National Highways and Network Rail about rebuilding it.

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by jabbaboy » Fri Jan 28, 2022 15:19

jackal wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:29
Apparently it's 25k AADT. This is virtually the same as the dualled A689. Without knowing the road I suspect it's something of a bottleneck and safety risk, and should be dualled.

Yes, there will be significant expense for the railway bridges, especially the underpass. But it's well within the realm of the possible. The recent A4440 improvement similarly added a second carriageway under a railway: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.16957 ... 384!8i8192 It cost £35m including a short section of dualling.

It would be nice for the at-grade junctions to be gone as well, but that's well into the realm of fantasy and shouldn't preclude more realistic improvements. At-grade DC for 25k AADT is perfectly normal and adequate; S2 isn't.
In fairness there's no real traffic problems, it probably helps that there's no junctions and it's effectively S3 in parts.

There's many roads locally which are/should be higher priority than that:
- A179/A19 Junction
- A688 Thinford
- A66 Darlington Bypass
- Darlington Northern Bypass (which would help anyway)
- A167 Neville's Cross
- Durham East/West Bypass

Just to name a few which are real bottlenecks and are all around the 20k on traffic lit crossroads and or poor roundabouts.

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by Rob590 » Fri Jan 28, 2022 15:22

jackal wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:29
Apparently it's 25k AADT. This is virtually the same as the dualled A689. Without knowing the road I suspect it's something of a bottleneck and safety risk,
Knowing the road, I'd say it isn't. It's a fast stretch of WS2, and traffic along it does not travel significantly slower than on the roundabout-hampered D2. Dualling it would be nice of course but it's not a bottleneck or particualrly dangerous stretch right now. The point about roundabouts is that without other changes, making it D2 wouldn't bring sufficient journey time benefits to attract traffic from other roads, so there seems very little point.

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by jackal » Fri Jan 28, 2022 16:04

That's rather surprising. AADT and HGVs are almost identical to the A64 east of York, and a touch higher than the A66 Darlington bypass, both of which we hear a lot about. I suppose the road is better engineered than the former and lacks the roundabouts of the latter, so gets by.

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A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by Mark Hewitt » Fri Jan 28, 2022 17:26

Rob590 wrote:
jackal wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:29
Apparently it's 25k AADT. This is virtually the same as the dualled A689. Without knowing the road I suspect it's something of a bottleneck and safety risk,
Knowing the road, I'd say it isn't. It's a fast stretch of WS2, and traffic along it does not travel significantly slower than on the roundabout-hampered D2. Dualling it would be nice of course but it's not a bottleneck or particualrly dangerous stretch right now. The point about roundabouts is that without other changes, making it D2 wouldn't bring sufficient journey time benefits to attract traffic from other roads, so there seems very little point.
That's the main thing. When driving the A689 between the A19 and A1(M) it's the speed limit and three roundabouts in quick succession that I find frustrating rather than the short stretch of S2.

It's also my normal route to work A1(M) to A177. It does occasionally back up going into the Sedgefield roundabout. And occasionally there's a queue at the drop from D2 to S2 Eastbound under the ECML.
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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by jackal » Fri Jan 28, 2022 17:54

The western rbt at Sedgefield has an adjacent bridge that could be utilised for a GSJ. It would just take a pair of LILOs where the roundabout is and 250m of link road between the A177 and Station Rd.

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by NICK 647063 » Fri Jan 28, 2022 18:47

jackal wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 16:04
That's rather surprising. AADT and HGVs are almost identical to the A64 east of York, and a touch higher than the A66 Darlington bypass, both of which we hear a lot about. I suppose the road is better engineered than the former and lacks the roundabouts of the latter, so gets by.
Quite a few more factors to consider the A689 could have a more level flow throughout the day whereas the A64 has huge morning summer peaks to the coast and the same coming back, also it’s a average daily flow taken throughout the year, I imagine the A689 is pretty similar all year round whereas the A64 can be carrying well over 30k some days in summer but if you average out in the quieter winter months you get a lower average, the A64 is also avoided by many using back roads so you then have suppressed demand, so it’s hard to compare roads without considering the individual situations.

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by jackal » Fri Jan 28, 2022 19:46

Well, seasonality cuts both ways of course, and its implication would be that the A689 is more trouble than the A66 during the off season. That's the attraction of using standard metrics like AADT and HGV counts - one person says the seasonal road should be prioritised because of the peaks, another says (as we so often hear from detractors of the A303 improvements) that the seasonal road is 'only busy a few weekends a year', but the metrics cut through all that noise. Of course, they don't remove the need to consider other factors such as the state of the infrastructure and, as you mention, the distribution across the day.

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by M19 » Fri Jan 28, 2022 21:33

It’s not that long ago that the stretch between Sedgefield and Wynyard was dualled, albeit with at grade junctions. So what justified that at the time? Not a complaint more a question about the consistency of decisions.
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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by Bryn666 » Fri Jan 28, 2022 23:47

M19 wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 21:33
It’s not that long ago that the stretch between Sedgefield and Wynyard was dualled, albeit with at grade junctions. So what justified that at the time? Not a complaint more a question about the consistency of decisions.
Would the contemporary MP have anything to do with that...?
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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by Mark Hewitt » Sat Jan 29, 2022 08:21

Bryn666 wrote:
M19 wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 21:33
It’s not that long ago that the stretch between Sedgefield and Wynyard was dualled, albeit with at grade junctions. So what justified that at the time? Not a complaint more a question about the consistency of decisions.
Would the contemporary MP have anything to do with that...?
I'm sure the work was a Durham County Council project but no doubt it would have made getting a grant from central government that bit easier.
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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by KeithW » Sat Jan 29, 2022 09:52

Bryn666 wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 23:47
Would the contemporary MP have anything to do with that...?
I suspect the large scale housing and industrial developments between Wynard and Sedgefield were more of an issue. Wynard is also likely to be the site of the long overdue replacement for North Tees Hospital.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-t ... nd%20roofs.

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by jackal » Sat Jan 29, 2022 10:10

M19 wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 21:33
It’s not that long ago that the stretch between Sedgefield and Wynyard was dualled, albeit with at grade junctions.
I find it remarkable that this was dualled to such a low standard only 20 years ago. Many of the reserve gaps are completely unnecessary.

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Re: A689 – A1(M) to Sedgefield?

Post by Mark Hewitt » Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:16

jackal wrote:
M19 wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 21:33
It’s not that long ago that the stretch between Sedgefield and Wynyard was dualled, albeit with at grade junctions.
I find it remarkable that this was dualled to such a low standard only 20 years ago. Many of the reserve gaps are completely unnecessary.
This one is particularly nasty. https://goo.gl/maps/AMvCToSJ7XqJpUpG9

You can be doing 70mph overtaking in the right hand lane and then someone slams on in front of you to slow down for the turn.

That isn't too far from the roundabout so it could be closed.
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