A1/Adwick le Street - Darrington
|The Great North Road|
|From:||Adwick le Street (SE522093)|
|Distance:||8.7 miles (14 km)|
|Meets:||A1(M), A162, A638, A639|
|Route outline (key)|
Starting at the northern end of the Doncaster Bypass the A1 follows pretty much a straight course to between Adwick le Street and Wentbridge passing over the current mainline railway between Doncaster and Wakefield, past Robin Hoods Well and Skelbrook Hall to the west before reaching the Barnsdale Bar junction, which has recently become more significant with the completion of the £24m Hemsworth A1 Link Road.
Just north of Barnsdale Bar, the A1 passes over the a disused line of the London & North Eastern Railway (Hull and Cudworth line), before entering into a twisting section that bypasses Wentbridge via the note worthy Wentbridge Viaduct before meeting the long Jackson Hill section notorious for slowing HGV's to a crawl in heavy traffic. A crazy collection of warning signs at the bottom end of Jackson Hill warn motorists that pedestrians are likely to be crossing, who would cross the A1 at this point remains unanswered.
The section past Darrington seems unremarkable, but hides a bridge that replaced the previous at grade junction at Darrington. Just to the north, the tight and wheezy dual carriageway receives a healthy injection of engineering with a overhead gantry welcoming drivers onto the next section of motorway heading north, but signals an array of brake lights ahead for the southbound traffic.
The current line of the A1 generally maintains the old pre motorway era line, with the exception of a minor diversion at Darrington and a more significant diversion to the east of Wentbridge, where a highly acclaimed viaduct structure was required to allow the new line of the A1 to pass over the River Went and the associated valley. The majority of what can be seen on the ground now was opened to traffic in 1961.
A listed structure, the largest viaduct of its kind in Europe, receiving acclaim from the Royal Arts Commission and included in the exhibition of Twentieth Century Engineering by the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1964. Wentbridge Viaduct is an exceptional structure on the A1
1978: Darrington Improvement
Improvement that removed the at grade cross roads and provided a viaduct over the village and new slip road access to the mainline of the A1. Contract value £1.5m.
1979: Redhouse Improvement
Removal of the original roundabout and replacement with a new grade separated junction. Contract value £3.2m.
1985: Barnsdale Bar
New grade separated junction. Contract value £0.8m.
Whilst improvement to full motorway has been proposed for many years, there are no current proposals to upgrade this section of dual carriageway. The recent completion of the £24.2m Hemsworth A1 Link Road may in the short term see minor improvements to the Barnsdale Bar Junction.
Borehole records indicate two alignments one from 1992 under the name "A1(M) Redhouse to Ferrybridge" and another undated route under the name of "A1(M) Redhse-Ferrybdge", with the 1992 proposal taking a straight line improvement line between Wentbridge Viaduct and Darrington, the other alignment forming a curved eastern bypass to Darrington (including North Lodge Lane). The majority of the remaining section appears to be generally online, with the exception of the area immediately to the north of Redhouse where the proposed alignment cuts the corner to the west of the current A1 route. Records also indicate an proposal to improve the current Barnsdale Bar and Redhouse junctions.