The Highways Agency is set to carry out a major programme of road improvements in the north east, including work on the A1 north-south corridor between Leeming and Berwick.
There will also be work taking place on the A19 and A66. In total, the region will benefit from over £500 million of investments to the road network beginning this year.
Highways Agency regional director, Vanessa Gilbert, said: “This is good news for road users across the region. We are carrying out a large programme of work, as quickly and efficiently as possible, in order to invest in the economy and support growth. These road improvements will deliver benefits to drivers in the long term by tackling congestion, making journey times more reliable and improving safety.”
Highways Agency major projects north divisional director, Jeremy Bloom, added: “We will begin work to upgrade the A1 between Coal House and the Metro Centre this summer. This newly extended scheme aims to improve journey time reliability, increase capacity, reduce the number and severity of accidents, and support local regeneration and development plans in the Newcastle and Gateshead area. This scheme will see 3.98 miles of the A1 widened to three lanes in both directions – an additional 3.05 miles to what was previously planned.
“The A1 upgrade between Leeming and Barton, just south of the region, has now begun. Once completed, the existing 12 mile dual carriageway will be replaced with a new three lane motorway. This route carries between 59,000 and 69,000 vehicles per day and is the only section of non-motorway on the strategic M1/A1(M) route between London and Newcastle. The scheme will include provision of a new local access road alongside the new motorway, improving safety for local traffic from the surrounding communities. There will be a new grade separated junction at Catterick and an improved junction at Scotch Corner. The project is vital for the north east economy, it and will improve safety and journey time reliability between London and major urban centres in the north of England and Scotland.”
A major programme of resurfacing work is also taking place on the A1 north of Newcastle, with 11 large schemes planned to take place from April 2014 to December 2014. Resurfacing work will also be taking place, on the A1(M) north of Durham.
The first of four pinch point schemes in the region will get underway in May. The A19/A689 Wolviston Interchange scheme near Wynyard aims to improve capacity and reduce congestion at this junction. Pinch point schemes are designed to deliver smaller scale improvements to the road network that will help to stimulate growth in the local economy, relieve congestion and improve safety. Further pinch point schemes in the region are planned for the A19/A174 Parkway junction in Middlesbrough, A1/A19 Seaton Burn Interchange and Fisher land junction in Northumberland and A19/A1231 Hilton Grange Interchange in Sunderland. These pinch point schemes will also begin later in May.
There will also be concrete central reservation barrier work on the A1(M) at junction 62 (Durham). This improvement work will replace the existing wire rope barrier in the central reservation with a new concrete barrier. Major resurfacing work will also be taking place on the A66 between Preston Farm and Elton and on the eastbound A66(M) east of Darlington.