|Distance:||20.7 miles (33.3 km)|
|Meets:||A184, A695, A186, A167, A191, A188, A1056, A190, A19, A1171, A1061, A192, A193, A1147, A197, A1068|
|Former Number(s):||A6082, A696, B6339|
|Old route now:||B1505, A193|
|Route outline (key)|
The A189 is an important A-road in southeast Northumberland, ranging from an urban distributor to a major dual carriageway.
Gateshead - Forest Hall
The road starts as non-primary on the A184 TOTSO at the southern end of the New Redheugh Bridge in Gateshead. One lane joins from the roundabout and the other is a free-flow joining from the A184 coming up from the A1 Western Bypass.
On leaving the bridge we enter St James Boulevard, which a dual carriageway with at-grade junctions. This is a relatively recent construction, although along the line of the southern section of the Central Motorway West proposed in the 1963 City Development Plan. However it is still the scene of massive congestion during the rush hours, especially with all the traffic feeding in from the A186, West Road.
There is still quite a bit of development going on here and we pass the new Newcastle coach station on the right, a new Holiday Inn and 'Dance City'. Further up the road on the left is the site of the former Tyne Brewery - signs proclaim its future as 'Science City'.
Ahead there used to be a roundabout but this was recently replaced by a traffic-light-controlled junction, it looks strange since there is a very large empty space where the roundabout should be! Turn right to go under the giant arch for China Town, but the A189 turns left at this point and becomes Barrack Road.
Carrying on up the hill we pass St James' Park, the home, of course, of Newcastle United Football team: avoid this area on match days! Further on we pass the former Fenham Barracks and the brilliantly named Spital Tongues and head on into the Town Moor: this is an area of land protected from any development and really is a little bit of the countryside in the middle of the city, there are even cows in the fields! Here the road become Grandstand Road, named after the grandstand of Newcastle racecourse, which used to be on the Town Moor.
We pass over the A167 at a light-controlled diamond GSJ and go through a tree-lined avenue through the middle of the Town Moor, then ending up at Blue House roundabout. This links to the B1318 which was the former route of the A1 through Newcastle before it was routed through the Tyne Tunnel in the 1970s. The roundabout is to be remodelled as a lights-controlled junction under plans approved in November 2009 by Newcastle City Council.
We head straight over and into Jesmond and South Gosforth as Jesmond Dene Road, Matthew Bank and Haddricksmill Road; Jesmond Dene runs to the right of part of the route. Although the road is non-primary they still haven't changed the green signs at the next mini-roundabout, where we cross the A191. To carry on the route of the A189 we need to turn right on the roundabout and then left on the following roundabout to take us around a corner and past the former home of Sage software. This dual-mini-roundabout junction (the Haddricksmill junction) is to be remodelled by Newcastle City Council. The metro line passes overhead and before you know it we're onto dual carriageway, albeit it with plenty of roundabouts to consider.
Forest Hall - Ashington
The A188 now joins in north of Longbenton and we continue our journey up to meet the A19, which is another route of the A1 before the western bypass was completed through Newcastle. This section of the road has a number of large, complex surface-level roundabouts with multiple exits, and with inadequate signage. The A188 junction (West Moor roundabout) is a TOTSO, where the line of the A189 takes the first exit, at 90 degrees to the prior direction of the road. The next roundabout to the north (Sandy Lane) has six exits; at the next roundabout northbound (with the A190 and minor roads to Dudley) exit and entrance lanes to the west feed directly onto/from a further mini-roundabout. The next roundabout northwards, where the A189 meets the A19, has six exits, one of which, as at Dudley, feeds onto/off a mini-roundabout (A1171/B1505). This monstrous junction has been fitted with several sets of traffic lights to control traffic.
Mercifully we pick up primary status now as the A189 continues as fully grade-separated dual carriageway past Cramlington; this part is locally referred to as 'the Spine Road' (though a sign by the side of the road makes reference to it as 'Northumberland Parkway'); recent upgrades from single to dual carriageway mean this is now a fast road for getting North towards Ashington. After leaving Cramlington behind we bypass Blyth. There are some good views out to the coast on this stretch, especially at the River Wansbeck estuary. Turn left at the next roundabout onto the B1334 if you want to go to Ashington, or right for Newbiggin, but the A189 continues as dual for another mile where the dual carriageway ends on a roundabout.
We pass under the railway bridge and almost immediately meet another small roundabout, recently converted from a give way junction, and turn left down past the former Woodhorn colliery. This is now a mining museum and county archive complex, open Wednesdays to Sundays. Slightly further down is Queen Elizabeth country park which hosts a man-made lake popular with windsurfers and quite a nice pub too!
Another mile down the road is another roundabout and the end of the A189 as it hands over its primary status and role as the Northumberland coastal route to the A1068 coming out of the centre of Ashington.
On classification in 1922 the A189 was much shorter. It started on the A1 (now B1318) on the Town Moor in Newcastle upon Tyne and headed north past Cramlington to end on the A194 (now A192) in Shankhouse. From Forest Hall onwards the original A189 has been bypassed (although past Cramlington old and new run almost adjacent to each other); the old road is now mostly the B1505.
The development of the new town of Cramlington in the 1970s was part of the incentive to improve the A189, thus transferring it onto the new-build it occupies today. By 1975 the road had been dualled past Cramlington and rerouted to meet the A193 to the west of Blyth. The old road was largely renumbered B1505 although the final section into Bedlington became the A193. It was not long before the A189 had been extended to Ashington.
By the end of the 1970s the A189 had been extended west of its original southern end across the Town Moor, presumably to end on the A6127 (now A167. It was later extended along the new St James Boulevard and took over the former A6082 across the Redheugh Bridge.