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Location Map ( geo)
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From:  Chester-le-Street (NZ281524)
To:  South Shields (NZ365668)
Via:  Sunderland
Distance:  18.2 miles (29.3 km)
Meets:  A1(M), A167, A693, A1052, B1519, A182, A19, B1405, A690, A1231, A1018, B1291, B1299, A1300, B1344, B1303, A194
Old route now:  B1519
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

Durham • Sunderland • South Tyneside

Traditional Counties


Route outline (key)
A183 Chester-le-Street – Sunderland
(A1231) Sunderland (St Michael's Way)
A183 Sunderland (Livingstone Road, St Mary's Way)
(A1018) Sunderland (Wearmouth Bridge)
A183 Sunderland – South Shields

The A183 is an medium length A road between Chester-le-Street and South Shields. It is unlikely to be followed as a through route between those destinations, but is nevertheless an important route throughout much of its length. It provides an important western radial route for the city of Sunderland and forms the coastal road between the Rivers Tyne and Wear.


Chester-le-Street – Penshaw

The road starts at Junction 63 of the A1(M) just east of Chester-le-Street, initially heading south-east parallel to the motorway. It crosses the River Wear and begins to climb; this section is quite twisty and feels narrow, hemmed in by stone walls. The incline lasts for several miles as the road skirts the southern boundary of the Lambton Estate. The setting is rural here with fields on the right and a wall of trees on the left. At the top of the hill the A183 reaches a roundabout at the start of the A1052. This replaced a T-junction in 2022, with a fourth arm - currently a stub - facing north to provide access to future development.

The A183 near Bournmoor, looking east

The road then narrows, with trees close in on both sides, before snaking through the village of Bournmoor. It passes through another roundabout providing access to Lambton Park and a new housing development, then straightens out briefly before arriving at Wapping Bridge Roundabout. Here it turns left onto a short and somewhat isolated single-carriageway bypass, which is the only completed section of a more substantial unbuilt bypass for Shiney Row and Newbottle, known as the 'Central Route'. This would have continued south from Wapping Bridge to meet the B1284 near Rainton Bridge. At the northern end of the bypass, the intended northern terminus of the Central Route, the A183 meets the A182 at Biddick Hall Roundabout and multiplexes with it into the centre of Shiney Row. The A183 number is dominant in the multiplex, presumably because the A182 was intended to be diverted along the Central Route when it was completed.

The village is dominated by the Shiney Row Roundabout, the size of the roundabout and flared carriageways on approach hinting at earlier unfinished plans for grade separation. The construction of the roundabout and carriageways necessitated the demolition of two churches, two pubs, and several streets of houses - and far more extensive demolition would have been required had the original plans been fulfilled. The A183 leaves the A182 here and continues east through Penshaw. As it leaves the village it passes by the foot of Penshaw Hill, on top of which sits Penshaw Monument, a large folly built in the style of a Greek temple. This is a local landmark which can be seen for miles around, and has been adopted as an unofficial symbol of the city of Sunderland.

Penshaw - Sunderland

Past Penshaw Monument the A183 becomes dual carriageway, passing through Chester Road Interchange, its junction with the A19, and entering the outskirts of the city. This section of the A183 is a major artery for a number of residential areas of Sunderland such as Hastings Hill, Pennywell, and Grindon, as well as a substantial new development known as Chester Gate. The road, still a dual carriageway, has the feel of an urban distributor, passing through several roundabouts and a set of traffic lights.

The road then narrows to a single carriageway and a section known as The Broadway. This was previously marked as a wide S2, but in 2016 was re-painted as S2+1 in an attempt to ease the congestion which commonly occurs here, particularly on the approaches to the roundabout with the B1405. The road is flanked with houses on both sides, making further widening difficult. Past the B1405, it continues towards the city centre, passing the extensive Bishopwearmouth Cemetery, and Sunderland Royal Hospital. It then passes through a triangular gyratory, with eastbound traffic continuing straight and westbound traffic having to divert around the Royalty Theatre. The gyratory enables the A183 to interchange with the parallel A690. The road continues past the University of Sunderland's City Campus, then meets the A1231 on the edge of the city centre.

The A183 multiplexes briefly with the A1231 north along St Michael's Way before turning right at a roundabout onto St Mary's Boulevard. This area, previously the old Vaux Brewery site, is a focus of significant regeneration in the city, and the road passes new buildings on both sides including the new City Hall, opened in 2021. This section is primary but, despite having no other number, is not signed as the A183 - instead the signage is for (A1018) eastbound and (A1231) and (A690) westbound. The road soon reaches a traffic light controlled roundabout at the southern end of the Wearmouth Bridge, and the A183 turns left to cross the bridge in a multiplex with the A1018.

Sunderland – Whitburn

The A183 leaves the A1018 by turning right at traffic lights adjacent to St Peter's Metro station, heading along Dame Dorothy Street towards the coast. However, for many years until 2019, the western end of Dame Dorothy Street formed part a substantial one-way system, with northbound A183 traffic required to follow North Bridge Street, Roker Avenue and Church Street North. The junction at the bottom of Church Street North is now controlled by traffic lights in order to enable two-way traffic.

As it approaches the sea, the A183 - with its characteristic red and white lamp posts now repainted in a shade of dark green - passes St Peter's Church, one of the oldest in England and a UNESCO World Heritage Site having stood since AD 674. The road passes through a roundabout for access to the National Glass Centre and St Peter's Campus of the University of Sunderland, before arriving at the coast, where it turns left at a small roundabout onto Roker sea front. The other arm of this roundabout heads steeply downhill to the beach and Roker Marina.

Along the sea front the A183 passes the Roker Hotel, opened in 1842, while on the other side of the road Roker Pier can be seen over a stone balustrade, curving away into the sea. As the road passes the edge of Roker Park, the tarmac becomes red as Roker merges into Seaburn. The road is separated from the sea by a large grassed area known as Cliff Park, and passes an impressive former tram shelter before reaching a roundabout which once housed a large fountain, but was subsequently converted into a planter - supposedly due to repeated vandalism in the form of large quantities of washing up liquid. In around 2015 the council erected a large sculpture of lights in the shape of a fountain as a nod to its former existence.

The A183 then passes through the main commercial hub of Seaburn, which has undergone significant regeneration in the 21st century, and meets the B1291 which heads inland at a set of traffic lights. A little further north, the road leaves Sunderland and the coastline curves away to the east, while the A183 continues straight through the village of Whitburn, including a junction with the B1299 in the village square.

Whitburn - South Shields

Tynemouth Priory from A183

On the way out of Whitburn, the North Sea becomes visible again and the road passes Souter Lighthouse and Marsden Rock - no longer as impressive as it once was after a part of it crumbled into the sea. The end of the A1300 is met at a roundabout shortly afterwards. Beyond here there is a wide expanse of grass between the road and the sea; this is where the Great North Run ends. The road descends quite a steep hill to another small and rather tight roundabout where the A183 turns right, hugging the coast and past South Shields' sea front attractions.

The road then curves inland past Marine Park towards the town centre along Ocean Road, famous locally for its many curry houses. After this there are no more signs for the A183, but maps show that it turns left onto Anderson Street, then right onto Beach Road to end at traffic lights by the town hall, a triple point with the A194 and A1018.

Related Pictures
View gallery (10)
AquaMarineP222s.jpgChester Road (A183) - Geograph - 4524537.jpgWearmouth Bridge - Geograph - 623383.jpgChester Road (A183), Wapping Bridge - Geograph - 4524545.jpgA19 slip road near Sunderland - Geograph - 3945111.jpg
Other nearby roads
A1(M) • A167 • A693 • A1053 (Chester-le-Street) • A6127 • B1284 • B6290 • B6313 • E15 • E31 (via Newcastle) • M100 • T1 (Britain)
South Shields
NCN1 • A19 • A185 • A194 • A1018 • A1055 (Co Durham) • A1300 • B1298 • B1300 (Chichester) • B1300 (Tyne Dock - Marsden) • B1301 • B1302 • B1303 • B1344 • 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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