A1/Birtley - Morpeth
|The Great North Road|
|Distance:||25.3 miles (40.7 km)|
|Meets:||A1(M), A692, A184, A69, A167, A696, A19, A697|
|Former Number(s):||A613, A69, A6125|
|Old route now:||A167, A167(M), B1318|
County Durham • Northumberland
|Route outline (key)|
The A1 between Washington and Morpeth is an all-purpose dual carriageway with no at-grade junctions. The Gateshead section of the road can get very congested, due to the sheer number of junctions in the area.
- 1 Route
- 2 History
- 3 Improvements
- 4 Future
- 5 Links
The A1(M) terminates at the Birtley Interchange with connections into Newcastle on the A194(M). The now A1 is dual carriageway as it has to turn nearly westwards to successfully bypass the growing places of Gateshead and Newcastle. The junctions allow local access to the suburbs of the city. Also multiple trunk roads join onto the road here (A692, A69, A696, A19) which leads to most of the congestion and the A1 is mainly 2 lanes. After Newcastle the road is still of a good standard with basic grade separated junctions which replace a few right turns.
The original route was through the centre of Newcastle, and included the Central Motorway East when that was built.
1977 to 1990 - the Tyne Tunnel
It was rerouted via Testos Roundabout, the Tyne Tunnel and the Tyne Tunnel Northern Approach Road in 1977 and the old route de-trunked. This provided a bypass route for Newcastle and diverted much traffic, although some drivers continued to use the City route to avoid the tunnel toll or the Gateshead Western Bypass, Scotswood Bridge and residential roads across to Gosforth to regain the A1, much to the consternation of the locals.
1990 onwards - Gateshead and Newcastle Western Bypasses
The A1 was further re-routed onto the Western bypasses in 1990, following the opening of the Newcastle Western Bypass in that year, and this provided a fully dual carriageway bypass of the City (the Tyne Tunnel was originally single carriageway). This connected to the Wide Open and Seaton Burn bypass and the A1 north.
Junction numbers were added as far north as Seaton Burn in 2014.
1970: Seaton Burn and Blagdon Bypass
A two-lane dual carriageway bypass of Seaton Burn and Blagdon.
1970: Morpeth Bypass
A two-lane dual carriageway bypass of Morpeth.
1986: Stannington Bypass
A section of two lane dual carriageway constructed to link the Blaydon and Morpeth Bypassess.
1990: Newcastle Western Bypass
2004: Stannington Grade Separated Junction
A new grade separated junction was built at Stannington, allowing four at-grade junctions to be closed, to improve safety and journey times (with the removal of a 50mph speed limit that was imposed on the section).
The Gateshead bypass between J67 and J71 will be widened to D3.
- The A1 Birtley to Coal House Development Consent Order 2021 - This Order authorises Highways England to undertake works to alter the A1 between land north of junction 67 (Coal House) and junction 65 (Birtley) near Gateshead in Type and Wear and carry out all associated works.