|From:||Fair Moor, Morpeth (NZ205825)|
|To:||Newbiggin by the Sea (NZ311880)|
|Length:||10.6 miles (17.1 km)|
|Meets:||A1, A192, B1337, A1068, A196, A189, B1334|
|Former Number(s):||A1, B1335|
|Old route now:||B1337|
|Route outline (key)|
The road starts on the A1 at a full access junction to the north of Morpeth. It heads east and almost immediately reaches a roundabout for the A192 which gives access to the town centre. A couple of miles later a roundabout is reached with the B1337 which the A197 goes straight on to go over the East Coast Main Line and bypass Pegswood. Continuing east the road climbs through a cutting to pass a lake and reach the A1068 on the western edge of Ashington. There is a brief multiplex east before the A1068 turns off again to the left. Signs are undecided as to which of the two roads is the dominant number in the multiplex.
The road skirts the northern edge of Ashington, along one of those urban distributors liberally scattered with roundabouts. Two freight-only railway lines are crossed in quick succession before the A196 bears off to the right at one of the roundabouts. More of the same follows and presently the A189 is reached.
There is a short multiplex north along the A189 under one of the railway lines to the next roundabout, where the A189 turns left and the A197 continues ahead. It TOTSOs right at the next junction (ahead is Lynemouth and its power station) to pass through Woodhorn and under the railway again and soon reaches Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. The road runs into the town centre along Woodhorn Lane, ending at a T-junction on the B1334 only a short distance inland.
At the Morpeth end, the road originally started in Morpeth town centre on the original route of the A1. When that was bypassed the A192 took on the pre-bypass route to the north of the town centre and the A197 to the south (with the lower number dominant in the multiplex). This has now changed again with the opening of the Morpeth Northern Bypass where the A192 now ends on the A197 and the original A197 between Pegswood and the A1 has been renumbered B1337.
However, the original section of the A197 has been heavily upgraded and very little still lies on its original route. The junction with the A196, for example, used to be a short distance further south. Another example is the Pegswood Bypass. This was opened on the 13th February 2007, ten weeks ahead of schedule. It cost £9M to build.