|Distance:||11.3 miles (18.2 km)|
|Meets:||A1, A1114, A189, A167, B1426, A185, B1288, A195, A194(M), A194, A19, B1298, A1018|
|Former Number(s):||A6083, A6115, A1|
|Old route now:||B1426|
|Route outline (key)|
The A184 is a major east-west route on South Tyneside.
Dunston, Gateshead - Sunderland
The road starts from a rather impressive grade separated junction off the A1 Western bypass in Gateshead. It then runs as fast dual carriageway through Teams all the way up to the roundabout before the Redheugh bridge which kicks off the A189.
The two lanes of the road split with the right hand lane going up to a free-flow onto the bridge and the left lane feeding into the roundabout. Quite often the bridge is closed due to high winds, so instead of the diverge being on normal green backed signs they use a large variable message sign to indicate which lane you should choose.
Through the roundabout we carry on towards central Gateshead with the speed limit now down to 40 mph. This area, its industry long gone, is today a rather empty one.
Once you get into the centre of Gateshead the situation gets a little complicated! The roundabouts on the OS maps are now all gone, replaced by traffic light junctions. At this point the A184 actually splits itself in two to go around both sides of the centre of Gateshead.
If you want to carry on towards our eventual destination near Sunderland you need to turn right, otherwise if you go straight on the road will feed into the A167 Tyne Bridge. Turning left used to take you over the High Level Bridge into Newcastle, but since refurbishment work completed it is now a southbound only bus lane.
So then we turn right at the lights and continue up a steep hill on a road which is still dual carriageway, but with a 30 mph limit, past Gateshead bus station on the left, then turn left at the roundabout to go down past Gateshead Civic Centre. This area is again the subject of redevelopment and is now, following the demolition of various buildings, much more open than it used to be. After the traffic lights we are now back down to a single carriageway as we run past the main shopping area of Gateshead.
The next roundabout is one which is underneath the A167 Gateshead Highway, which is built on a flyover. This flyover was once intended to form the southern part of a motorway bridge across the Tyne, but neither the bridge, nor the motorway ever got built. To the left is also signed as the A184 and this continues as the primary road (multiplexed with the A167) until just before the Tyne bridge. This is also where our strange diversion comes to an end and the A184 becomes one road again.
So we go straight ahead on the roundabout and we enter the Felling Bypass. From here, until Whitemare Pool we are following the route of the 'Great North Run' which is the worlds biggest half-marathon. Further confirmation of the athletics connection comes as we pass Gateshead stadium on our left. The A184 continues as dual carriageway with traffic lights, up to Heworth roundabout.
The roundabout itself is completely undersized for the size of the roads going into it, and is festooned with traffic lights, the sequence of which often means if you get a green you can often only progress two car lengths before being stopped at another red. Unfortunately the roundabout and road is constrained by the proximity of the railway station and church on either side so don't expect any improvements soon.
Once we are through the roundabout the road continues, now unencumbered by traffic lights as we breeze past Wardley. Next up is Whitemare Pool junction where the A184 flies over the top on a bridge which was opened as Pool Bridge and spanned a railway line too. It's here that we say goodbye to the route of the Great North run and instead join the former route of the A1 when it used to run through the Tyne Tunnel. This part of the A184 is still forms part of the signposted route from the A1(M) to the tunnel and is therefore trunk.
After a short distance we meet Testos roundabout, this is where we cross the A19. This roundabout is due to be grade separated in a few years, with a dedicated left turn lane for A184 tunnel traffic. As it is we have to sit and look at the pretty traffic lights. After we get through the roundabout the A184 runs out of steam, we lose primary status and are back down to single-carriageway. After we pass the Boldon ASDA the road runs through the middle of West Boldon and on towards the misnamed Sunderland (Greyhound racing) Stadium, misnamed because we are not in Sunderland.
Originally the A184 started on the A695 Mosley Street in Newcastle upon Tyne and ran over the Swing Bridge to Gateshead before continuing on through Felling along what is now the B1426 to reach its current route towards Sunderland. When the Tyne Bridge was opened in 1928, the section west of the new road was out-of-zone and therefore the A184 was cut back to start on the A1 in Gateshead.
When the A1 was moved to go through the Tyne Tunnel in the 1970s the A184 was truncated to start on that road at Testos. The section immediately to the west became the A1 and the remainder to Gateshead (to what became the A6127) was renumbered A6115. This change was undone when the A1 was moved to the western bypass in the 1990s - but instead of ending in Gateshead the A184 was extended further west to meet the new bypass at Dunston (along an upgrade of the A6083).
Original Author(s): Mark Hewitt