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Location Map ( geo)
Princes Street, Edinburgh - Coppermine - 6476.jpg
A1 flag sign on Princes Street, Edinburgh
Cameraicon.png View gallery (589)
The Great North Road
From:  London (TQ321812)
To:  Edinburgh (NT258740)
Distance:  396 miles (637.3 km)
Meets:  M1, M18, M25, M62
A1(M), A14(M), A194(M)
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

City of London • Edinburgh • National Highways • Islington • Transport for London • Transport Scotland

TfL Central • TfL North • HE Area 5 • HE Area 8 • HE Area 6 • HE Area 7 • HE Area 12 • HE Area 14 • TS South East TRU
Traditional Counties

Bedfordshire • Berwickshire • Cambridgeshire • Durham • East Lothian • Hertfordshire • Huntingdonshire • Lincolnshire • Middlesex • Midlothian • Northamptonshire • Northumberland • Nottinghamshire • Rutland • Yorkshire

Route outline (key)
A1 St Paul's Cathedral -
St Paul's Tube Station
A1 St Paul's, London - Islington
A1 Islington - Golders Green
(A406) Golders Green
A1 Golders Green - South Mimms
A1(M) South Mimms - Baldock
A1 Baldock - Alconbury
A1(M) Alconbury - Peterborough
A1 Peterborough - Blyth
A1(M) Blyth - Doncaster
A1 Doncaster - Darrington
A1(M) Darrington - Washington
A1 Washington - Brunstane
A1 Brunstane - Edinburgh

The A1 is perhaps the most significant road in the United Kingdom. Not only is it the longest, but it links the English and Scottish capitals, and is known as the Great North Road. The A1 is more than just a road, however; it is significant for having several different characteristics, from city route, to urban dual carriageway, to busy rural motorway. Indeed, the A1 is a road of many flavours.


London to Peterborough: from the heart of the capital to fields of the East Midlands

A1 Aldersgate Street

Peterborough to Newcastle: through the East Midlands and Yorkshire

Construction of the A1(M)/M62 junction

Newcastle to Edinburgh: through the Borders and onwards to Edinburgh

Needs appropriate photo

A1 historic route from 1922/3 numbering

Roader's Digest Entry

An old tale of the Great North Road
Main Article: A1 Roaders Digest Entry

In the early days of SABRE a number of members got chatting late one night and started discussing duplicate numbers of roads. The discussion soon developed into an idea to write up all the roads in the country and, indeed, some early members got very carried away with the whole thing...


Due to the piecemeal nature of the upgrades of the A1, the system of markerposts on the route is very complicated. There are several "zero" points along the route, notably at the start in London, near Huntingdon , at Blyth Interchange (Junction 34) near Doncaster, and at Junction 56 at the start of the Durham section of motorway. More details on this can be found in an article on the website (see links at bottom of page).

Significant Improvements

The A1 east of Elkesley in 2015
Main Article: A1/Improvements Timeline

Do you want to know when an A1 bypass, dual carriageway or motorway section was built? This article tables each scheme from Edinburgh to London and can be also be listed in date or location order. Includes tables for the continuous dual carriageway from Morpeth to London, early single carriageway schemes, motorway schemes and superceded sections.

The A1 just south of Scotch Corner in 2006
Main Article: A1 Early Improvements

Road upgrades and bypass construction has continued since the first bypass - the Ferryhill Diversion of 1923. This article gives more detail of each scheme up to 1979. These schemes, including the 1960s bypasses around market towns such as Newark, Grantham, and Stamford, have massively reduced travel times on the Great North Road and provided vital relief for traffic choked towns.

Bridgeworks on the A1 Upgrading Wetherby
Main Article: A1(M) Bramham to Wetherby

The A1(M) Bramham to Wetherby scheme was an on line upgrade of the A1 dual carriageway between junctions 44 and 46, costing £70 million. This section of the A1(M) carried 85,000 vehicles per day.

Other Pages


A1 Birtley to Coal House Flythrough

2018 flythrough video showing the plans for the A1 Birtley to Coal House project.

Watch video > >


Roads UK

Pathetic Motorways

Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation

Road opening booklets

Feasibility studies

Related Pictures
View gallery (589)
A1 Bramham Junction - Geograph - 256061.jpgA new dining experience. - Coppermine - 18773.jpgHaddBypass.JPG20160605-1644 - Approaching A1, Grantham Southern Bypass - 52.890960N 0.640674W.jpgBorehamwood- A1-A411 Stirling Corner roundabout - Geograph - 4375454.jpg
The First 99           A1  •  A2  •  A3  •  A4  •  A5  •  A6  •  A7  •  A8  •  A9  • A10 • A11 • A12 • A13 • A14 • A15 • A16 • A17 • A18 • A19
A20 • A21 • A22 • A23 • A24 • A25 • A26 • A27 • A28 • A29 • A30 • A31 • A32 • A33 • A34 • A35 • A36 • A37 • A38 • A39
A40 • A41 • A42 • A43 • A44 • A45 • A46 • A47 • A48 • A49 • A50 • A51 • A52 • A53 • A54 • A55 • A56 • A57 • A58 • A59
A60 • A61 • A62 • A63 • A64 • A65 • A66 • A67 • A68 • A69 • A70 • A71 • A72 • A73 • A74 • A75 • A76 • A77 • A78 • A79
A80 • A81 • A82 • A83 • A84 • A85 • A86 • A87 • A88 • A89 • A90 • A91 • A92 • A93 • A94 • A95 • A96 • A97 • A98 • A99
Motorway sectionsA1(M): (South Mimms - Baldock • Alconbury - Peterborough • Doncaster Bypass • Darrington - Birtley)
A3(M) • A8(M) Baillieston spur • A38(M) • A48(M) Cardiff spur • A57(M) • A58(M) • A64(M) • A66(M) • A74(M) • A92(M)
DefunctA1(M) Newcastle CME • A2(M) Medway Towns Bypass • A4(M) • A5(M) • A8(M) Renfrew bypass • A14 • A14(M) • A18(M) • A20(M) • A36(M)
A40(M): (Westway • Denham -Stokenchurch) • A41(M) • A42 • A46(M) • A48(M): (Port Talbot bypass • Morriston bypass) • A62(M) • A88 • A99
UnbuiltA2(M) Rochester Way Relief Road • A6(M): (Western route • Eastern route) • A14(M) (Expressway) • A34(M) • A48(M) Llantrisant Radial • A59(M) • A61(M)

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