|Darlington Road, Barnard Castle|
|Distance:||34.1 miles (54.9 km)|
|Meets:||A66, A688, A66, A167, A135, A1044, A19|
|Former Number(s):||B1273, A19|
|Old route now:||B6280, A66|
|Route outline (key)|
The A67 is only primary for a short section at its beginning, and is very much overshadowed by its big brother, the A66. Nowadays it appears to be of too slight significance to justify the two-digit number. However, until the 1960s, the A67 was the principal east-west route through southern County Durham - and the A66 is to blame for the fact that this has changed.
Bowes - Crathorne
Bowes marks the fork of the main east-west Roman Road now followed by the A66, the southern (right) fork continuing as the A66 to meet Dere Street at Scotch Corner, whilst the northern (left) fork leads to Bishop Auckland. The A67 currently starts at a grade-separated limited access junction with the A66 on the Bowes bypass, and follows this northern fork to Barnard Castle, where it crosses the Tees for the first time at a narrow 16th-century bridge with a weight limit and then winds up through the town.
On the way out of Barnard Castle the primary route continues, now as the A688, to follow the Roman Road to Bishop Auckland, whilst the A67, now non-primary, strikes out almost due east. It crosses Dere Street (at this point the humble B6275) at Piercebridge and crosses the A1(M) without a junction – the nearest access is the A68 at Junction 58 about three miles to the north. (I think the A60 is the only other two-digit road to cross a single digit A-road (the A1(M) again, near Doncaster) without a junction.
The A67 then enters Darlington. Its original route, then a trunk road, ran through the centre of Darlington, continuing east to Haughton-le-Skerne, Great Burdon and Elton to its original terminus in Stockton on the A19 Yarm Road. Round about 1960, the A67 was extended as a non-trunk road into Middlesbrough, where it ran up Newport Road and terminated on the A172 on Corporation Road by the town hall. This section was originally the A176 (observation of the later re-use of this number in Essex was the initial trigger for the whole "Roads by Ten" project.)
Later in the 1960s, the Darlington to Middlesbrough section of the A67 was usurped by the present A66. Subsequent improvements have taken the A66 away from the original A67 route, notably in Darlington itself, where the original route to the east the town is now partly the B6279 (anomalously numbered as it is entirely to the east of the A1).
The present A67 turns south in the western suburbs of Darlington to meet the A66 which we last saw at Bowes. (Most people travelling from Bowes to Darlington would prefer the A66, although it is about five miles further, as it is largely dual carriageway and doesn't go through any town of a size comparable with Barnard Castle). The A66 and A67 multiplex around Darlington – the A66 giving this multiplex primary status. The B6280 follows the pre-bypass route through the town centre. The next section of the A67, to Egglescliffe, was originally the B1273, but was upgraded to A-status at the same time as the A67 became the A66, probably because it serves Teesside Airport. At Egglescliffe the A67 terminated on the A19, until that road was diverted further east, the original route being renumbered north of Egglescliffe as the A135 (way out of place – perhaps it should swap numbers with the A176 in Essex). South of Egglescliffe the former A19 is now an extension of the A67 which crosses the Tees to Yarm before continuing on to Crathorne, where it meets the A19 just short of the North Yorkshire border.