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A1(M)/Darrington - Birtley

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Darrington – Birtley
From:  Darrington (SE488207)
To:  Birtley, near Washington (NZ281567)
Meets:  M1, M62, A168(M), A194(M), A195(M), A66(M), A1, A59, A61, A63, A64, A66, A162, A167, A168, A659, A688, A689, A690, A693, A6055, A6108, A6136, B1224
Former Number(s):  A194(M)
Old route now:  A194(M)
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

Highways England


County Durham • Yorkshire

Route outline (key)
Arrownorth.jpg North Birtley - Morpeth
A1(M) Darrington - Birtley
South Arrowsouth.jpg Adwick le Street - Darrington
Junction List
Junc Northbound Southbound
40 Start of Motorway A1
41 M62 M62
Services symbol.gif Ferrybridge services (at J41)
42 A63 A63
43 No Exit M1
44 A64 A64
45 A659 A659
46 B1224 B1224
Services symbol.gif Wetherby services (at J46)
47 A59 A59
48 A168 A6055, A168
Bridge Arrows Bridge
49 A168(M) A168
50 A61, A6055 A61
51 A684, A6055 A684, A6055
52 A6055 A6055
53 A66, A6108 A66, A6108
Services symbol.gif Scotch Corner services (at J53)
56 B6275 B6275
57 A66(M) No Exit
Bridge Tees Bridge
58 A68 A68
59 A167 A167
60 A689 A689
61 A688, A177 A688
Services symbol.gif Durham services (at J61)
62 A690 A690
63 A167, A183, A693 A167, A183, A693
64 A195(M), A195 A195(M), A195
Services symbol.gif Washington services
65 A194(M) Start of Motorway
- A182 A182
- A195 A195
- A184, A194 A184, A194


This is by far the longest continuous section of the A1(M), stretching 94 miles from junction 40 near the village of Darrington in West Yorkshire to junction 65, near Birtley in Tyneside. It has developed in a piecemeal fashion over the years, developing from several short motorway bypasses of the A1 which have got joined together over time. The most recent stretch of this road to open was between junctions 52 and 56, which opened in February 2018 and resulted in the Tyne and Wear area finally getting a motorway connection to the rest of England.


Dishforth to Barton: J49 to J56

Dishforth to Barton is very rural section of the motorway that features only two interchanges, the first (J50) with the A61 at Baldersby and the second (J51) for the A684 bypass of Leeming. The entire scheme was completed in June 2012, and the A684 Leeming and Bedale bypass was completed in 2016. Between 2012 and 2016, prior to the completion of the A684 Leeming bypass, A684 traffic was routed along the A6055.

The line of the A1 from Dishforth to Barton is pretty much along the route of the pre war route, which followed the line of the Roman road, Dare Street, with the exception of a significant diversion to the west of Leeming and Leeming Bar, and further north a significant diversion to the west of Catterick. The old single carriageway was upgraded in sections in the late 1950s and early 1960s following the government announcement to upgrade the whole of the A1 to dual carriageway standard.

Barton to Birtley: J56 to J65

This section is a largely off-line motorway replacement for the A1, constructed and opened in stages throughout the 1960s. It is predominately D2M, with some climbing lanes.


See Also: A1/Early Improvements

Note: In the section headings below, current junction numbers are used (even if different numbering schemes were in place at time of construction). A junction number of the format "J46½" refers to a temporary junction that no longer exists and which was never numbered, between what is now J46 and J47; the "½" format is used in this article for ease of reference and was never actually used.

1965: Darlington Bypass (J56–J59)

1969: Durham Motorway (J59–J63)

1970: Chester-le-Street and Birtley Bypass (J63–J65)

The southern section was off-line, while the section around Birtley was built over and replaced the single carriageway 1930s bypass.

1980s: Extension along the A194(M)

Main Article: A1/via Tyne Tunnel

When the A1 was rerouted from Central Newcastle to the Tyne Tunnel, the A194(M) became an extension of the A1(M). When the A1 was rerouted to the west of Newcastle in 1990, the original number reverted.

1992: Rakes Wood - Wetherby

Opening in November 1992, the Bramham Bypass upgraded the existing D2 route to a higher standard D3+HS removing many of the hazardous humps in the older alignment, in preparation for later conversion to motorway when sections to the north and south were completed.

1995: Walshford to Dishforth (J46½–J49)

13 miles of upgrade from dual carriageway to full D3M motorway standard. The motorway was built generally alongside the west side of the dual carriageway. In 1995-6 after completion of the motorway, the old northbound carriageway was removed, regraded in places, and planted with grass and trees.

1999: M1-A1 Link Road (J42½–J44)

Extension of the M1 to meet the A1 at Hook Moor, project involved almost 4 miles of improvement to the A1, upgrading the previous dual carriageway to full D4M motorway standard.

For detailed information about this section, see M1-A1 Link Road

2005: A1(M) Wetherby to Walshford (J46–J46½)

First part of a DBFO £245M upgrade to upgrade the A1 to full motorway standard between Darrington and Dishforth. Scheme involved construction of 4 miles of new offline motorway to the east of the existing A1, linking to the previous XXXX scheme to the north and the Wetherby Bypass to the south. Included a new road, the B1224, linking the old A1 route (now A168) and Wetherby Racecourse.

2006: A1(M) Ferrybridge to Hook Moor (J40–J42½)

Second part of a DBFO £245M upgrade to upgrade the A1 to full motorway standard between Darrington and Dishforth. Scheme involved construction of 8 miles of new offline motorway, 2 miles of online improvements to the A1, online improvements to the M62, a new hybrid directional T freeflow interchange between the M62 and A1(M) at Holmefield and significant downgrades to the previous route of the A1.

2009: A1(M) Bramham to Wetherby (J44–J46)

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) carries 85,000 vehicles per day.

2009: A1(M) Junction Renumbering

In June 2009, the following changes were made to the junction numbers.

  • The A1(M)/M1 Hook Moor junction number changed from 44 to 43;
  • The A1(M)/A64 Bramham Crossroads junction number changed from 45 to 44;
  • The existing A1/A659 Grange Moor junction became A1(M) Junction 45;
  • The existing A1/B1224 Kirk Deighton junction remained A1(M) Junction 46.

2012: Dishforth to Leeming (J49–J51)

Main Article: A1(M) Dishforth to Barton

In April 2012, the A1(M) was constructed between Dishforth and Leeming, an online upgrade of the A1.

2017–2018: Leeming to Barton (J51–J56)

Main Article: A1(M) Dishforth to Barton

In September 2017, the A1(M) fully opened between Leeming and Catterick, and in February 2018, motorway status was applied to the stretch from Catterick to Barton. It is a mostly online upgrade from the previous D2 all-purpose dual carriageway to a D3M motorway, although for a short distance in the vicinity of Catterick, the new road was built offline.


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