Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Have Your Say on A1 Upgrade

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Have Your Say on A1 Upgrade

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Muncaster Reporter @MichaelMjourno

MORE consultation events will be held over multi-million pound plans to improve the A1 in Gateshead.

A 2.5 mile stretch of the road between junction 67 at Coal House and junction 65 near Birtley is set to be widened.

Highways England said the scheme, which will cost anywhere between PS250m and PS350m, could get under way in late 2020.

Here, we take a look at what impact the work could have on drivers.

| What is happening? Highways England has outlined plans to improve the A1 between the Birtley and Coal House junctions. It follows work to turn the A1 into a three-lane carriageway between Coal House and the Metrocentre in 2016.

| What will the work involve? The improvements will create additional capacity, improve journey times and safety and support economic growth in the region, Highways England said.

The consultation document said: "It will provide additional capacity by widening from three to four lanes between junction 65 and 67 on the southbound carriageway.

"Three lanes with an additional lane will help manage traffic joining and leaving the A1 between junctions on the northbound carriageway. The scheme will also look to install electronic signage to provide driver information along the road."

Allerdene Railway Bridge, which carries the A1 over the East Coast railway line, will also be replaced as part of the project.

| Why is it needed? If you've ever driven between the two junctions, especially in rush hour, then you'll know the answer to this one.

There is often heavy traffic on this section of the A1 during peak times, resulting in unreliable journey times.

And there are fears that this will only get worse with new housing and employment developments planned for the area. Highways England said the work will: | Reduce congestion by increasing capacity for road users | Improve the reliability of peoples' journeys and reduce delays by increasing capacity on the road | Make journeys safer by improving the standard and capacity of the road | Support the Government's initiative for growth in the North | What will it mean for drivers? …

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