|To:||Seaton Burn (NZ235745)|
|Distance:||6.5 miles (10.5 km)|
|Meets:||B1307, A167, A167(M), A189, A191, A1, A1056, B1321, A19, A1068|
|Former Number(s):||A1, A6125, A189|
|Route outline (key)|
The B1318 is the route of the Great North Road between Newcastle upon Tyne city centre and the former mining village of Seaton Burn. The road originally formed part of the A1 but the B1318 number came into being in this area following construction of the Wide Open bypass in the 1960s. Following construction of the Tyne Tunnel approach roads in 1975 the A1 was able to by-pass Newcastle to the east and so the remainder of the road was renumbered as A6125 until the opening of the Newcastle Western Bypass in the early 1990s, at which point it acquired its present number, although the southernmost section was then briefly numbered A189.
The B1318 commences at the Claremont Road junction of the A167/A167(M), and heads south-eastwards down Claremont Road, past the roundabout with Queen Victoria Road leading to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, and underneath the University of Newcastle's Claremont Bridge building which spans the road. At a light controlled junction opposite Newcastle's Civic Centre, and next to the Great North Museum, the B1318 makes a sharp turn northwards, although there is a spur to the right into the city centre to meet the B1307 by the Monument.
The first northbound stretch of road is dual carriageway in a deep cutting, and was constructed as part of the Central Motorway West (but never designated as such). It forms the bottom layer of a three-level junction where it passes beneath the A167(M) Central Motorway; northbound slips enable access to the Central Motorway east- and west-bound; southbound on the B1318, one can only access the eastbound A167(M). Heading north, and separating Exhibition Park from Brandling park (The two are connected by a subway which also allows access to bus stopping lay-bys on the road), the B1318 passes north across the Town Moor. It crosses the A189 at the Blue House Roundabout, due to be replaced by a light-controlled junction under recent plans approved by Newcastle City Council.
North of this roundabout, the road crosses a further detached portion of the Town Moor then enters the Newcastle suburb of Gosforth. Between 1962 and the mid 1970s Northumberland County Council (the planning authority for Gosforth at the time) planned to build a sunken motorway east of central Gosforth to carry traffic past the town, although this never took place. The B1318 is now known as Gosforth High Street and for much of its length is lined by shops, restaurants and pubs. At the north end of the retail centre, it is crossed by the A191 at a staggered crossroads (Salters Road/Church Road), which under recently-approved plans is to be 'smoothed out' by the creation of a new E-W link across a car park at the junction. Gosforth Hight Street continues north, intermittently dual carriageway, crossing the metro line to Newcastle Airport and passing Regent Centre Metro interchange and, at a roundabout, a large ASDA supermarket.
From this point the road resumes the name Great North Road and is uninterrupted dual carriageway, passing through inter-war suburbia, with roundabouts at Broadway and Melton Park. North of Melton Park the B1318 leaves the main line of road (which continues to the 'Newcastle Great Park' junction of the A1; this GSJ marks the original southern end of the Wide Open bypass), crossing the 'main line' by a flyover, and continues northbound as a single carriageway road once more, where it is briefly subsumed by the A1056 heading northbound past Gosforth Park, home of Newcastle racecourse. At the first roundabout past the racecourse, the A1056 heads eastwards, while the B1318 continues its northern journey. It now passes through the mining villages of Wide Open and Seaton Burn. At the north end of Seaton Burn the B1318 terminates where it meets the A19 at a surface level roundabout, just a few metres to the east of the A19 junction with the A1.