A1 Birtley to Coal House

Traffic on this busy section of the A1 is congested, especially during peak hours – making journeys unreliable. The number of vehicles using the road will increase with new housing and employment developments planned for the area, so road improvements are needed.

Start date July-Sept 2021
End date 2024/25
Cost TBC

Latest updates

  • 01 August 2022

    A1 junction 67 Coal House roundabout works

    The first phase of the essential work on the roundabout at junction 67 (Coal House) near Gateshead is now complete.

    The roundabout has re-opened and access to the A1 north, Lady Park and Lamesley has been restored.

    A second closure is needed on the other side of the roundabout.

    We will confirm the date of the closure and provide more details in the coming weeks.

    We would like to thank everyone for their patience and continued support while we improve the A1.

     

    Ariel View of the Coal House roundabout J67

     

  • 11 March 2022

    Want to find out more about the A1 Birtley to Coal House scheme?

    Monday 14 March 2022
    B&Q, Armstrong Industrial Estate,
    Washington NE37 1LH
    10am to 4pm

    Thursday 17 March 2022
    Ravensworth Golf Club, Angel View,
    Long Bank, Gateshead NE9 7HD
    4pm to 8pm

    Saturday 19 March 2022
    Sainsbury’s Eleventh Avenue,
    Team Valley, Gateshead NE11 0JY
    10am to 4pm

    Tuesday 22 March 2022
    Birtley Community Hub, Harraton Terrace, 16
    Durham Rd, Birtley, Chester-le-Street DH3 2QG
    9.30am to 12pm

    Also at: Kibblesworth Millennium Centre,
    Grange Terrace, Gateshead NE11 0XN
    1pm to 4pm

    overhead view of the scheme

  • 31 January 2022

    Northbound overnight closures Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 February

    We are making changes to the road layout through the A1 Birtley to Coal House upgrade this weekend. 

    We had intended to make this traffic switch last week but postponed until local authority work on the A186 was completed.

    We'll be moving northbound traffic over towards the central reservation to enable engineers to start construction of the new lane. 

    To allow us to do this safely the northbound carriageway between junctions 65 and 68 overnight will be closed (8pm to 6am) on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 February.

    Following the change to road layout we urge drivers to take extra care while they get used to the new layout and remember to keep to the speed limit for their safety as well as that of our workforce.

    Clearly-signed diversions will be in place.  

  • 01 December 2021

    Official start of main work ceremony marked by partners

    Starting work event - 1 December 2021

    Celebrating the main construction of A1 Birtley to Coal House major project getting underway today (December 1) were (pictured from left to right): David Haimes (Major Projects Regional Investment Programme Director (North), National Highways), Tim Gamon (Regional Delivery Director, Yorkshire and North East, National Highways), Councillor Hazel Weatherley (Birtley Ward Councillor at Gateshead Council), Mayor of Gateshead Councillor Dot Burnett, Clare Richardson (Senior Conservation Officer, Gateshead Council), Nicola Wilkes (A1 Birtley to Coal House Project Manager, National Highways), Russ Furnival (Contract Lead, Costain Jacob Partnership) and Ian Walker (Programme Manager, National Highways).

    Representatives of National Highways, Gateshead Council and contractors Costain Jacobs partnership came together today to mark the next stage in this important road improvement scheme.

    Since May 2021 we have been making space for us to build the new lanes by installing narrower lanes and removing vegetation in the verges.

    We've also established some work compounds and have installed CCTV to help with recovering stranded and broken down vehicles.

    Today's event saw partners given a presentation and overview of construction milestones and an explanation of how and why we have needed to remove trees and relocate or protect wildlife.

    A series of public information events are planned for early 2022.

     

     

  • 19 May 2021

    We're starting work

    We’re starting work to improve the A1 between Birtley and Coal House. This part of the A1 runs past the iconic Angel of the North and carries the A1 over the East Coast Main Line.

    The A1 between J65 and J67 suffers from heavy traffic build up at peak times, causing frustration for drivers and unreliable journey times.

    We are widening the carriageway adding an additional lane in both directions. The northbound carriageway will increase to three lanes and the southbound to four.

    This scheme is really important for the north east – benefitting the region’s economy and supports Transport for the North’s plans

    We’re working closely with Gateshead Council and local communities to make sure our scheme does not alter the local views and supports biodiversity and environmental interests. 

    You may have seen our billboards next to the A1 in Gateshead confirming that we’ve started working.

    Between May and July we are intending to:

    • Set up compounds to hold materials and equipment at Lamesley Road and Eighton Lodge
    • Put some barriers in the centre of Kingsway Roundabout so we can build a piling platform
    • Strengthening and hardening the central reservation at Kingsway and Eighton Lodge
    • Installing CCTV and speed enforcement cameras to help us clear breakdowns quickly and improve overall safety for drivers and road workers

     

    • We will establish narrower lanes from Junction 66 Eighton Lodge to Junction 67 Coal House to help us work to harden the central reserves on the 4 over bridges at the 2 junctions. This will give us additional space to accommodate the A1 whilst providing the required safe working areas for the bridge widening works which are due to start in July.

     

     

  • 25 January 2021

    Project given permission

    On 19 January the Secretary of State for Transport gave permission for this scheme to be constructed. This permission is called a Development Consent Order and you can find out more about it on the Planning Inspectorate's website. We are currently looking at when we will start work and this will be no later than summer 2021.

  • 27 October 2020

    Development Consent decision expected January 2021

    We’re expecting a final decision on the scheme by 21 January 2021. This decision is made by the Secretary of State for Transport who will say whether the scheme has permission to be constructed. Once a decision has been made, a letter and report will be published on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

    You can read more about the process in our Development Consent Order (DCO) leaflet. You can also access all the information about the DCO on the Planning Inspectorate’s website free of charge, including:

    • The application form and other documents
    • Maps and plans
    • The environmental statement

     

    Contacting our team

    If you’d like to contact the team about this scheme, please email:

    A1BirtleytoCoalhouse@highwaysengland.co.uk

     

    We’re not currently able to collect post as we’re playing our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

  • 28 August 2020

    DCO (Development Consent Order) Examination Closed – 21 July 2020

    We submitted the DCO to the Planning Inspectorate on 14 August 2019 and it was accepted for examination on 10 September 2019.

    The examination, a six-month process, started on 21 January 2020 and closed on 21 July 2020. The Planning Inspectorate now has three months to submit their recommendations to the Secretary of State for Transport. This will be no later than 21 October 2020. The Secretary of State then has three months to make a decision which will be no later than 21 January 2021.

    All documents relating to the DCO, including the application form and accompanying documents, maps and plans, and the Environmental Statement can still be viewed electronically and free of charge on the Planning Inspectorate's National Infrastructure website.

    As we react to the government measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the project team are no longer able to receive postal enquires about the scheme.

    We ask that all enquiries are made via email to:

    A1BirtleytoCoalhouse@highwaysengland.co.uk

Project information

Give us your feedback

Visit our A1 Birtley to Coal House feedback tool to have your say. The tool includes an interactive map. You can click on a location to make a specific comment, or give us your general feedback.

ECHO is a one-way feedback tool, so if you’d like a response to your feedback you can email the project team at: A1BirtleytoCoalhouse@nationalhighways.co.uk

Map image showing the location of the scheme

We will be improving approximately four miles of the A1 between junctions 65 (Birtley) and 67 (Coal House). The existing road will be widened between the junctions to help manage traffic joining and leaving the A1:

  • Northbound we’ll increase the number of lanes from two to three.
  • Southbound we’ll increase the number of lanes from three to four.

Junction 65, 66 and 67 will be modified to accommodate the additional lanes.

We also plan to replace Allerdene railway bridge, which carries the A1 over the east coast mainline railway. The current bridge was built nearly 40 years ago and requires regular maintenance which can cause disruption to traffic. We’ll build the new bridge just south of the existing bridge.

We’re designing this improvement scheme to benefit road users, local communities, and to support the region’s economy.

Once completed it will:

  • reduce congestion by increasing capacity for road users
  • improve the reliability of peoples’ journeys and reduce delays by increasing capacity of the road network
  • make journeys safer by improving the standard and capacity of the road
  • help support economic growth by improving the road to the Newcastle and Tyneside area (Team Valley Employment Zone)
  • support the government’s initiative for growth in the north

Monday 1 August

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J68 to J67

A1 fully closed southbound from J67 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J67

 

Tuesday 2 August

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J68 to J67

A1 fully closed southbound from J67 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J67

 

Wednesday 3 August

A1 entry slip closed at J67 southbound

A1 exit slip closed at J67 southbound

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J68 to J67

A1 fully closed southbound from J67 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J67

 

Thursday 4 August

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J68 to J67

A1 fully closed southbound from J67 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J67

 

Friday 5 August

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J68 to J67

A1 fully closed southbound from J67 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J67

 

Saturday 6 August

No planned works

 

Sunday 7 August

No planned works

 

Monday 8 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 entry slip closed at northbound J65

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J69 to J68

A1 fully closed southbound from J68 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J68

A1 fully closed northbound at J67 - Use J67 off slip to exit A1 and then entry slip to re-join the A1

 

Tuesday 9 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 entry slip closed northbound at J65

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J69 to J68

A1 fully closed southbound from J68 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J68

A1 exit slip closed at northbound J67

 

Wednesday 10 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 entry slip closed northbound at J65

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J69 to J68

A1 fully closed southbound from J68 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J68

A1 exit slip closed at northbound J67

 

Thursday 11 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 entry slip closed northbound at J65

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J69 to J68

A1 fully closed southbound from J68 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J68

A1 exit slip closed at northbound J67

 

Friday 12 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 entry slip closed northbound at J65

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J69 to J68

A1 fully closed southbound from J68 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J68

A1 exit slip closed at northbound J67

 

Saturday 13 August

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J63 to J65

A1 fully closed northbound from J65 to J67

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J67 to J65

 

Sunday 14 August

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J63 to J65

A1 fully closed northbound from J65 to J67

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J67 to J65

 

Monday 15 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J69 to J68

A1 fully closed southbound from J68 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J68

A1 fully closed northbound at J67 - Use J67 off slip to exit A1 and then entry slip to re-join the A1

 

Tuesday 16 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 exit slip closed northbound at J67

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J69 to J68

A1 fully closed southbound from J68 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J68

 

Wednesday 17 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 exit slip closed northbound at J67

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J69 to J68

A1 fully closed southbound from J68 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J68

 

Thursday 18 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 exit slip closed northbound at J67

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J69 to J68

A1 fully closed southbound from J68 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J68

 

Friday 19 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 exit slip closed northbound at J67

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J69 to J68

A1 fully closed southbound from J68 to J65

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J65 to J68

 

Saturday 20 August

No planned works

 

Sunday 21 August

No planned works

 

Monday 22 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J63 to J65

A1 fully closed northbound from J65 to J67

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J67 to J65

 

Tuesday 23 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J63 to J65

A1 fully closed northbound from J65 to J67

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J67 to J65

 

Wednesday 24 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J63 to J65

A1 fully closed northbound from J65 to J67

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J67 to J65

 

Thursday 25 August

A1 exit slip closed at southbound J66

A1 lane 2 closed northbound from J63 to J65

A1 fully closed northbound from J65 to J67

A1 lane 2 closed southbound from J67 to J65

Documents

Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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