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Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Thornaby on Tees (NZ454149)
To:  Whitby (NZ894103)
Distance:  34.4 miles (55.4 km)
Meets:  A19, A171, A172, A173, A1032, A1042, A1044, A1053, A1085, B1266, B1268, B1269, B1365, B1366, B1380, B1416, B1460
Former Number(s):  A171, B1266, B1267
Old route now:  A1032, A1042, A1085, A1130, B1380
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

National Highways • Middlesbrough • North Yorkshire • Redcar and Cleveland • Stockton-on-Tees

Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
A174 Thornaby on Tees - Coulby Newham
A174 Thornaby Wood - Stainsby
A174 Stainsby - Lackenby
A174 Lackenby - Whitby

The A174 starts out as the main road to the south of the Teesside conurbation, before continuing through Redcar and Cleveland and along the coast to Whitby.

In many ways the A174 can be seen as an example of the changing fortunes and plans of the Teesside area. With sections of wildly different standards it stands as a symbol of how the Tees Valley area has changed in the last 50 years. It has been influenced by changing industry, new housing developments, redevelopment and attempts to drive investment, and can be seen as the victim and victor of the numerous local authority changes which have affected the area since the 1960s.


Thornaby-on-Tees to Kirkleatham

Starting in the west, the current A174 begins on the southern edge of Thornaby, at a traffic light-controlled junction with the A1044 and former A1045. Despite the A174 and A1044 being at a right angle here, the junction is designed so that the principle route through the junction is A174-A1044, and, if not for the traffic lights, the roads would flow directly into one another.

Since the 1990s. the roads in this area have been influenced by the growth of Ingleby Barwick, one of the largest housing developments in the region. There have been plans in the past to continue the route north-west of this junction, through Thornaby Wood, to meet the A66. These plans evolved over the years to produce the Queen Elizabeth Way and the 1812 Way, the latter of which forms part of the A135, which heads north into Stockton-on-Tees town centre.

From its initial junction, the A174 heads east along a stretch of D2, before meeting the Avro Anson Roundabout, which serves as northern access to the Teesside Industrial Estate. The road continues as a D2 past the roundabout, before it meets the A19 at the Parkway Junction. Travelling eastbound, traffic for the A19 north can use a filter lane to reach the sliproad, with a similar situation at the opposite end of the roundabout, this time for westbound A174 traffic to reach the southbound A19. A separate filter lane also exists for A19 traffic to reach the eastbound A174.

A further clue as to the former plans for the A174 can be seen at this junction, as it has huge ‘ski jumps’ to the east of the current roundabout. These were intended to be used to add a third level to the junction, and have the A174 continue westward as per the above plans. This would’ve been built as part of the A19 bypass of Thornaby, and was part of wider plans for the roads around Teesside in the 1960s-80s. As part of the A19 widening works of the late 1990s (as detailed in the DBFO section below), these ski jumps were altered and direct slip roads added at the roundabout, which shows that any former plans for a three-level junction have now been scrapped.

The Parkway

The current D2 A174 between the A19 and Lazenby was built in the late 1970s and early 1980s to form a southern bypass of Middlesbrough and its environs. Known as The Parkway, it serves the huge industry of the area, such as that of Grangetown and Wilton, and it also acts as the main road link to Teesport. Despite its short length, it definitely has the feel of a long distance dual carraigeway, much like the A19 nearby. The road has trunk status for this stretch, and is maintained for National Highways as part of the £30m ‘A19 Dishforth – Tyne Tunnel’ DBFO contract currently held by Autolink Concessionaries (A19) Ltd. The design and build part of this contract, which runs from 1997 to 2027, was to widen the A19 between the A174 junction mentioned above, and Norton.

Heading east, and now with primary status, the road first meets a limited access modified dumbell junction with the B1380 and the B1540 just north-west of Hemlington. Eastbound traffic can head up the sliproad to meet the B1380, and can either turn right towards Acklam or turn left towards the roundabouts, eventually providing access to the B1540 and Hemlington. Traffic travelling on the B1380 and the B1540 can access the A174 westbound via the roundabouts in the dumbbell. The missing connections from this junction are then fulfilled by the next junction, as the B1380 runs parallel to the A174 here (and in general for most of the route to Lazenby, albeit further away from The Parkway itself).

This junction, with the A1032 and B1365, allows eastbound A174 traffic to head south into the massive housing development of Coulby Newham (which contains a shopping centre, aptly titled The Parkway Centre, after the nearby road), but not north into Acklam, as it would be expected that anybody wishing to get to Acklam would have left the A174 one junction earlier and travelled along the B1380. Despite this, there is a roundabout further along the B1365 that allows vehicles to turn around and head into Acklam that way. Heading westbound, the sliproad from the A174 provides access in both directions, allowing westbound traffic to enter Hemlington from the east, rather than from the west like eastbound traffic has to do. Traffic leaving the B1365 can join the westbound A174, however getting to the westbound A174 from Acklam requires a detour west along the B1380 again to the aforementioned junction earlier in the route. Any traffic wanting to head eastbound needs to navigate the roundabout at the northern end of the junction, head east along the B1380 to the next roundabout, and take the sliproad back onto the A174.

Continuing east, the road crosses from Middlesbrough into Redcar and Cleveland, and reaches a simple diamond junction with the A172, for Marton, Nunthorpe and Stokesley. Eastbound traffic for the A171 is also directed off here, and swings around Nunthorpe to meet that road on its journey across the moors to Whitby. This is because the next junction with the A171 can only be accessed from the westbound A174, and likewise, the A171 itself only provides access to the eastbound A174, with traffic wanting to head west from the A171 at Ormesby being directed around Nunthorpe to meet the A172.

The A174 continues eastbound, maintaining the same D2 status that we have held since Thornaby, before meeting the A1053 and our old friend the B1380 at the Greystones roundabout. Traffic for Teesport and the industry of the south Tees is directed north along the A1053, with the A174 losing both its trunk and primary status, although the road remains D2, but now with a 50mph speed limit until we reach Kirkleatham.

Between Lazenby and Whitby, the A174 is known as “The Coast Road”, as opposed to the aforementioned A171, which is “The Moors Road”. Continuing east from the Greystones roundabout, we lose the air of a long-distance dual carraigeway, and begin to feel more like a distributor road for a town or city, despite us having firmly left Middlesbrough and its environs behind. We soon reach an at-grade left-turn for Lazenby, which would be a LILO junction if not for the fact that traffic from Lazenby can continue across the eastbound carraigeway and head west on the A174. The route through Lazenby is actually the old route of the A174, and we meet it again at a true LILO just to the east of the village. Shortly afterwards, we encounter the grade-seperated junction at Wilton. This junction is essentially a modified Diamond, and provides access from the A174 to Wilton village, to the South, and Wilton Works, to the North. It is also here that westbound A174 traffic is able to access Lazenby. We return to NSL shortly after this junction, however, the Kirkleatham roundabout is imminent, so very rarely is such a speed ever reached.

Kirkleatham to Marske

At the roundabout, the A1042 branches off to the north, bypassing Kirkleatham to the west, whilst the A174 continues east along the Redcar bypass. The character of the road has changed again now, with open fields to the south along much of the route to Saltburn, and indeed, beyond. A short stretch of D2 brings us to a roundabout with the B1269, which has made the journey from Guisborough to multiplex eastwards with us as far as the next roundabout, where it heads north into Redcar. This roundabout also signals the end of the Redcar bypass, and the road drops to S2 for the Marske bypass ahead, however this section was obviously built with possible widening in mind. Another roundabout provides access to Longeck and New Marske, before the eastern end of the bypass is met at the huge Quarry Lane roundabout with the A1085. This roundabout was built so the former A174 into Marske (now the A1085) and the former B1267 could both be accommodated as until a few years ago the A174 continued straight across at the roundabout into Saltburn. It now turns right and heads south along the old B1267 towards Skelton.

Marske to Carlin How

The top of the now-bypassed Saltburn Bank

The A174 winds uphill towards a junction known as Four Lane Ends. Originally, this junction was a crossroads between the B1267 and the B1268, but now houses the A174 and a potentially-downgraded B1268. Past this junction, we encounter one of the quirks of the new route as the road winds down Apple Orchard Bank before reaching the Skelton Castle roundabout. Here, the road TOTSOs left whilst the A173 takes over as the road ahead, down Marske Lane. This is all simply the reclassified B1267, however it remains better quality than the old road through Saltburn with its steep hills and hairpin bends.

The next few miles were built in the 1990s/2000s as a bypass for Skelton, Saltburn and Brotton, and have very much the feel of a regional investment road designed meant to attract companies to the area: a decent S2 but with lots of roundabouts. No sooner have we left the previous roundabout does a T-junction emergence for the new housing developments around Skelton, before a roundabout is crossed allowing further access to Skelton and Saltburn. At the next roundabout we meet a newly built link to Skelton Industrial Estate, before the road sweeps around a bend to the right to yet another roundabout with what used to be the A173, allowing access to North Skelton (actually to the east of Skelton), and Brotton.

From this roundabout, the road swoops up a hill to meet Kilton Lane at the fifth roundabout since we joined the bypass, providing access to Brotton Hospital and the villages of Kilton and Kilton Thorpe, before heading back downhill to a final roundabout. This signals the end of the bypass, and the original coast road which has journeyed through Saltburn and Brotton joins us from the left, and we turn right to continue along it into Carlin How.

Carlin How to Whitby

The village is flanked by the massive Skinningrove steel works on the left, and the A174 forms a border between them and the residential streets to the right. A set of traffic lights is met in the middle of the village, giving access to the steel works (and by extension, Skinningrove) as well as a back road to Kilton and Kilton Thorpe, before we drop down Mill Bank and under the modern viaduct for the freight rail line to Boulby. This viaduct was built in the 1990s to improve the A174 on this steep slope and cut out a serious right-angle turn under the original Victorian railway bridge near the former Skinningrove railway station. Even with this improvement to the road we suddenly encounter a dogleg turn at the bottom of the dip with another left turn to Skinningrove before curving round and heading up Loftus Bank.

Heading through the yet to be bypassed Loftus, we meet the first classified road since joining the earlier Skelton-Saltburn-Brotton bypass, the B1366, which heads south at an unsigned junction in Loftus towards Liverton. We continue through Loftus, the A174 continuing to form the main road through the town, and into Easington, which was pass through swiftly. Throughout this section of the route, we can see how this area around the Cleveland coast has experienced huge industrial growth and decline over the last 200 or so years. A modern working example of the area's heavy industry is the Boulby Potash Mine, passed shortly after leaving Easington, which is one of the largest producers of the grit used on Britain's roads every winter. Opened in the 1960s, it is Europe's second deepest mine and also helped research into dark matter.

Near Staithes

After passing Boulby we dip towards Staithes Beck, passing a turning for the hamlet of Cowbar, and we cross the border into North Yorkshire before skirting the top of Staithes, passing a turning for Roxby, Dalehouse and Borrowby en route. Whilst we avoid the town itself completely, this section of the road is still lined with residential buildings, and features a set of traffic lights for good measure. After Staithes, the road turns inland, passing the junction for Port Mulgrave and entering Hinderwell, a linear village situated along the road. A left turning offers the first of two roads out to Runswick Bay, before we leave Hinderwell behind and the aptly named Newton Lane meets us at a t-junction, providing access to the nearby village of Newton Mulgrave.

Shortly after, we pass the second junction for Runswick Bay, and subsequently two junctions for Ellerby, before the B1266, which forms a link between us and the A171 Moors Road, is met just outside of the village of Mickleby. We turn eastwards again (having been heading largely southwards since Staithes), passing turnings for West and East Barnby and Goldsborough before arriving at Lythe. Lythe would be yet another small village on the route between Brotton and Whitby if it weren't for Lythe Bank, a long winding descent (in this direction, at least) into Sandsend. We cross Sandsend Beck, and run along the beachfront before making two 90 degree turns, one to cross the East Row Beck, and then another to turn back along the seafront, before continuing uphill to reach the outskirts of Whitby. We run alongside the golf course before meeting the B1416 at a roundabout, which lead back to the A171 via the B1460. We continue through Whitby's West Cliff area, meeting another roundabout linking our route to the West Cliff promenade, before we meet the aforementioned B1460 at yet another roundabout. From here, we head down a hill to meet Bagdale, the main road into Whitby's main tourist area, before climbing Prospect Hill to meet the A171. Prospect Hill forms part of the main route into the centre of Whitby from the A171, along with Bagdale, so it's often gridlocked in summer time, but it's just another character of this wildly different road.


The original eastern end of the A174 in 1932

Very little of the current route of the A174 still runs on its original 1922 route.

The original western end of the A174 was at a roundabout on the A176 in Thornaby on Tees. This roundabout now connects the A1130 with the B6541. It then followed what is now the A1130 along Acklam Road, and later Mandale Road. At the end of Mandale Road, the route heads through Acklam along the now A1032 until it reaches the roundabout at Bluebell Corner.

From here, the route followed the current B1380 along Ladgate Lane, which eventually becomes Ormesby High Street. The route crosses the A172 and the A171 on this stretch. The road continued along Normanby Road, Ormesby Road, and Eston High Street, before meeting the current alignment just outside of Lazenby.

The original A174 then veered into the village of Lazenby itself, the only diversion from the current route along this stretch.

In Kirkleatham the road followed a small section of the current A1042, before turning right onto Kirkleatham Lane, and passing through the village itself, and onto Plantation Road. A section of Plantation Road has now been made into a footpath, presumably because the new alignment of the road is too close for it to be required.

In Redcar, the route crossed a roundabout with the current B1269, formerly the A1040, mere meters from the current alignment, and headed along Redcar Road all the way to Marske. Here, it turned onto the current A1085 in the town centre, at what is now a roundabout, and followed that road to Quarry Lane roundabout on the current alignment.

At Quarry Lane roundabout, named after a small lane to the south of it, the former route and the current route of the A174 cannon off each other, with the former route heading into Saltburn via Marske Road. It ran through the town, along Windsor Road, and then Glenside, then down the notorious Saltburn Bank. At the bottom, the route crossed the bridge and bore left, to head toward Brotton, where it used to end on a T-Junction near the town centre, with the A173 to the right towards Skelton, and the old B1266 to the left towards Whitby.

The A174 was extended over the B1266 in 1935 to end on the A171 (now B1460). With the construction of the new bridge in 1980 the A171 was diverted across it and the A174 was extended to meet it.

For the history of the section from Sandsend to Whitby including the 1865 Maharajah's Road and the 1925 upgrade see B1266.

Opening Dates

Year Section Notes
1975 Teesside Parkway The 7 mile D2 dual carriageway from Parkway Junction to Greystones Roundabout, Lackenby was opened on 17 November 1975 by John Gilbert, Transport Minister (along with the northward section of A19 Teesside Diversion). The section west of Stokesley Road Interchange (A172) had a wide central reservation to allow for future widening to D3. Contractors were A. Monk and Co. Ltd. and Dowsett Engineering Construction Ltd. (Stainton section), tender cost £6.3 million, total cost £11 million.
1977 Marske-by-the-Sea Bypass The 2.75 mile road from Kirkleatham Bypass to A1085 Marske Road was opened on 9 December 1977 by W.T. Rodgers, Secretary of State for Transport. Contractor was A. Monk & Co. Ltd..
2001 Skelton and Brotton Bypass The final stretch was opened on 2 February 2001 by Ashok Kumar, MP for Middlesborough South and East Cleveland. Cost £14.5 million.


Related Pictures
View gallery (15)
A174 near Staithes - Geograph - 515014.jpgParkway traffic near Normanby - Geograph - 1693283.jpgA174 (South) - 19 Miles To Whitby - Coppermine - 17947.JPGA174 Interchange.jpgGreystones Roundabout and Wilton chemical site - Geograph - 588082.jpg
Other nearby roads
NCN1 • A19 • A66 • A171 • A172 • A175 • A176 (Stockton on Tees - Middlesbrough) • A178 • A1032 • A1041 (Middlesbrough - Redcar) • A1043 • A1053 • A1085 • A1130 • B1270 • B1272 • B1380 • B1424 • B1446 • B1513 • B1540 • B1541 • B6541 • E104 (Teesside - Penrith) • EuroVelo 12 • T24 (Britain)
NCN1 • A169 • A171 • B1266 (Brotton - Whitby) • B1416 • B1447 • B1460 • EuroVelo 12
A100 • A101 • A102 • A103 • A104 • A105 • A106 • A107 • A108 • A109 • A110 • A111 • A112 • A113 • A114 • A115 • A116 • A117 • A118 • A119
A120 • A121 • A122 • A123 • A124 • A125 • A126 • A127 • A128 • A129 • A130 • A131 • A132 • A133 • A134 • A135 • A136 • A137 • A138 • A139
A140 • A141 • A142 • A143 • A144 • A145 • A146 • A147 • A148 • A149 • A150 • A151 • A152 • A153 • A154 • A155 • A156 • A157 • A158 • A159
A160 • A161 • A162 • A163 • A164 • A165 • A166 • A167 • A168 • A169 • A170 • A171 • A172 • A173 • A174 • A175 • A176 • A177 • A178 • A179
A180 • A181 • A182 • A183 • A184 • A185 • A186 • A187 • A188 • A189 • A190 • A191 • A192 • A193 • A194 • A195 • A196 • A197 • A198 • A199
Defunct Itineraries & Motorways: A102(M) East Cross Route • A102(M) Southern Approach • A106(E) • A108(N) • A108(S) • A115 • A118
A132 • A122 • A135 • A138 • A139 • A147 • A154 • A160 • A167(M) • A168(M) • A176 • A180(W) • A180(E) • A194(M) • A194 • A195(M) • A195

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