A1 Morpeth to Ellingham dualling

The A1 is one of the country's longest roads, connecting London and Edinburgh. The route currently consists of motorway and dual carriageways, with some sections of single carriageway between Morpeth and Ellingham.

Start date TBC
End date TBC
Cost TBC

Latest updates

  • 06 June 2022

    Development Consent Order (DCO) process update, June 2022

    The Secretary of State has asked for more time to consider our proposals for upgrading the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham in Northumberland.

    We remain confident that our proposals will provide much needed additional capacity, with better connectivity for people and business, and safer journeys for everyone, and we remain committed to delivering these improvements upon receiving a positive decision on the DCO.

    The DCO decision is now due on or before 5 December 2022.

  • 18 May 2022

    Development Consent Order (DCO) process update

    Next decision date – 6 June 2022

    In January, the Secretary of State for Transport asked for more information on some aspects of the proposed A1 Morpeth to Ellingham improvement scheme.

    At that time, he indicated that the next date he would make any comment on the approval, or otherwise, of the scheme would be on 6 June 2022.

    What we’re doing to prepare

    Although we are not in any way pre-judging what the Secretary of State’s decision will be, we are continuing to finalise our detailed designs. This is so that, should the decision be favourable, we can progress matters more quickly.

    Even if the decision is favourable, there are still a few other approvals needed before work can start.

    How will we let you know what is planned?

    Part of our planning is to prepare a series of public information events. These would be held in a variety of settings along the length of the scheme and would cover weekdays, evenings, and weekends, so that as many people as possible can find out more.

    We will publish the dates of these events once we have approval to hold them.

    We’ll also continue talking direct to landowners, agents, residents and businesses directly affected by our work.

    How can you stay updated?
    You can follow our Twitter feed @HighwaysNEAST or our FaceBook page - https://www.facebook.com/HighwaysNEast

    You can also email us at – A1inNorthumberland@nationalhighways.co.uk and we’ll sign you up to our email mailing list.

  • 04 January 2022

    Development Consent Order decision delayed until June 2022

    The Secretary of State has asked for more time to consider our proposals for upgrading the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham in Northumberland.

    We’re committed to delivering these improvements and remain confident that our proposals will deliver much needed additional capacity, with better connectivity for people and business, and safer journeys for everyone.

    We’d like to thank everyone for their engagement and contribution in the development of the scheme to date.

    We will continue to work with the Planning Inspectorate, local stakeholders and local authorities until the Secretary of State makes his decision, which is now expected in early June 2022.

  • 22 October 2021

    Overnight closures of A1 between Burgham and Felton - Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 November

    We are planning some overnight closures of the A1 between Burgham and Felton for bridge inspections.  The A1 will be closed both directions for two consecutive nights on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 November between 9pm and 6am.

    During these closures we will be using monitoring equipment to further check how weather and temperature impact on the River Coquet bridge. The monitoring equipment can only be safely installed using ropes to access underneath the bridge.

    While the A1 is closed we will be diverting traffic through West Thirston and Felton, using a signed diversion via the Peth (B6341), crossing the River Coquet and along Main Street. 

    We will be using measures used in our previous closures to help with traffic movements. These measures included two-way traffic lights and regular inspections by our traffic safety officers throughout the night.

  • 12 July 2021

    Update on road closures and Development Consent Order process

    Road Closures for survey work

    Unfortunately, we were unable to carry out the previously planned survey works at the River Coquet Bridge. This was due to activities on the wider road network that were outside our control.

    Our closures of the A1 between Burgham and Felton, will now take place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July 2021 for two nights, between 9pm and 6am.  

    The surveys are important to develop the detailed design for the improvements to the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham, which is due to start in 2022 (this is subject to Secretary of State decision following the Development Consent Order (DCO) examination). 

    This work involves accessing the underside of the bridge using ropes and therefore we must remove all traffic to carry out this work safely. The diversion route will take traffic off the A1 using the Peth, crossing the River Coquet and then using Main Street.

    Development Consent Order (DCO)

    On 5 July 2021 we reached the end of the DCO examination period.

    The Examination Authority will now write its report and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State. 

    We are expecting Secretary of State decision in January 2022.

  • 25 May 2021

    Survey work and DCO hearings

    Survey Work
    We are currently undertaking archaeological trial trenching surveys as part of our detailed design process.

    Archaeological trial trenching is undertaken to identify the presence, or not, nature, date, and extent of archaeological remains that may be present within the footprint of the scheme.

    Undertaking this trenching now means that we can identify and address any archaeological risks as the scheme progresses through design.

    The surveys are taking place between now and August, with the full permission of the relevant landowners. We have also been liaising with the Northumberland County Archaeologist to carry out these surveys.

    DCO Hearings
    The next hearings for the Development Consent Order Examination for the scheme will take place virtually from week commencing 7 June.

    Construction of the scheme is subject to the Secretary of State decision expected in January 2022, following the Development Consent Order Examination which finishes in July 2021. More information is available on the Planning Inspectorate website.”

    For more information about the DCO process please view this video 

  • 22 April 2021

    Development Consent Order hearings

    The Hearings for the Development Consent Order Examination will continue virtually (via live streaming) from week commencing 7 June 2021 (TBC).

    Invitations to this meeting will be sent to Interested Parties in due course by the Examining Authority.

    For more information please visit the Planning Inspectorate website.


  • 24 November 2020

    Road condition surveys

    In December we will be conducting some road surveys along the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham.

    We will be assessing the existing road to make sure that it is fit for purpose and is structurally sound. These assessments will help us to design and plan the widening of the road for the A1 in Northumberland scheme, which, if given development consent, will start in 2022.

    The A1 in Northumberland scheme is a vital part of our strategy to deliver the largest investment in a generation throughout England’s motorways and major A roads. We will be increasing the number of lanes from 1 to 2 between Morpeth and Felton and between Alnwick and Ellingham to relieve congestion and make people’s journeys quicker.

    The survey work involves a variety of different techniques to collect all the data required to support the design of the new road.

    Road closures

    For these surveys to be carried out safely, for both the public and the workforce, we will be closing the A1 between Morpeth and Felton and Alnwick and Ellingham overnight between 8pm and 6am on the following dates:

    • Monday 7 December – Friday 11 December
    • Monday 14 December – Tuesday 15 December

    Planned closures are subject to weather conditions. Diversion routes will be in place.

    The Preliminary Meeting for the Development Consent Order Examination will be held virtually (via live streaming) on Tuesday 15 December 2020. Invitations to this meeting have been sent to Interested Parties. For more information please visit the Planning Inspectorate website.

    The Procedural Decision, setting the timetable for the Examination (including deadlines for receipt of detailed Written Representations and for comments on the Relevant Representations made by other Interested Parties), will be made after the Preliminary Meeting and will be published on the Planning Inspectorate website.

  • 25 August 2020

    Development Consent Order accepted

    The DCO has now been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate for examination which means it has now entered the pre-examination stage. There will be an opportunity for people to further comment about the scheme known as the “relevant representation period”. This is due to commence on 17 September and close 30 October 2020. More information is available on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

  • 08 July 2020

    Development Consent Order (DCO) submitted

    The Development Consent Order (DCO) has now been submitted. This is the next stage in progressing this scheme towards construction.

    The DCO will shortly enter the examination period, meaning that the Planning Inspectorate has up to six months to carry out the examination. During this stage interested parties who have registered by making a relevant representation are invited to provide more details of their views in writing. Careful consideration is given by the Examining Authority to all the important and relevant matters including the representations of all interested parties, any supporting evidence submitted and answers provided to the Examining Authority’s questions set out in writing or posed at hearings.

  • 30 April 2020

    Combining two schemes

    We made the preferred route announcement in September 2017 and following that consulted on the proposed improvements for Morpeth to Felton in 2018 and Alnwick to Ellingham in 2019.

    We had originally planned to submit two separate Development Consent Orders (DCOs) - a special type of planning application which is needed for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. One for the Morpeth to Felton section and one for the Alnwick to Ellingham section. This was because there was going to be a significant time difference between the construction of the two sections. Due to delays with our work on the Morpeth to Felton section, we have taken the opportunity to combine the DCOs and will now submit just one DCO application for the A1 Morpeth to Ellingham. Combining the two DCOs into one has a number of benefits and means that if you wish to make a comment on the proposals, you only need to comment on one application.

    If you had previously subscribed to our A1 Morpeth to Felton webpage you will have received a notification that the information about this scheme is moving to this page. If you type in the website address for the A1 Morpeth to Felton scheme it will automatically redirect you to this page.

Project information


In Northumberland, the A1 takes motorists through rural countryside and close to the coastline. This section of the A1 is used by a wide variety of people for many different reasons. This includes people travelling long-distance between Newcastle and Edinburgh for work, local traffic accessing rural areas and tourists who come to visit the coastline and the area’s many historic attractions.

The scheme will involve upgrading eight miles of the A1 to a dual carriageway between Morpeth and Felton, including construction of a new dual carriageway bypassing the existing A1 between Priests Bridge and Burgham Park. The old section of the A1 carriageway will be de-trunked and become a local road – meaning this section of road will be owned and maintained by Northumberland County Council.

Between Alnwick and Ellingham a further five miles of the existing A1 will be upgraded to dual carriageway. This will be done along the existing single carriageway road.

As well as the dualling, we will also construct:

  • four new compact grade separated junctions at Highlaws, Fenrother, West Moor and Charlton Mires providing safe access onto and of the A1 as well as maintaining links to the local road network
  • a new bridge where the A1 cross over the River Coquet parallel to the existing bridge
  • a new accommodation bridge at Heckley Fence

As the route is one of strategic national importance our aims are to:

  • improve network resilience and journey time reliability
  • improve safety
  • maintain access for local traffic whilst improving conditions for strategic traffic
  • facilitate future economic growth
  • work to prevent potential impacts on the natural and built environment, and identify opportunities to provide a long-term a sustainable benefit to the environment


Traffic information

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

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