Press release

£17 million improvements for North East roads before Christmas

The North East will benefit from over £17millon of road improvements over the next few months as the Highways Agency continues with its year round maintenance of the strategic road network


Between now and Christmas, over £7million will be invested in resurfacing projects on the A1 north of Newcastle. The main focus of the work will be along the A1 between:

  • Haggerston and Broomhill
  • Shilbottle and Felton
  • Stannington Vale
  • Earson and Burgham
  • Duns Road and Highfield
  • East Ord and Scremerston
  • A1 North Brunton roundabout

A further £4.5 million of resurfacing work is planned for sections of the A1M between junction 58 and 63, £1.2 million of resurfacing will take place on the A19, A184 and A194M, with over £3 million of resurfacing also planned on the A66, including schemes at:

  • Preston Farm to Elton
  • A66M eastbound carriageway
  • A66 Rokeby Grange
  • A66 Boathouse Lane

In addition to the resurfacing schemes, £800,000 of work to upgrade lighting on the A66 will also take place, improving safety for drivers travelling along this route.

Highways Agency North East Regional Director, Vanessa Gilbert, said:

This is really good news for road users across the North East because it will ultimately mean more reliable journey times and improved safety. Record amounts are being invested in roads – that inevitably means more roadworks, but for every scheme we work on there will be an improvement for drivers.

We are well aware of how frustrating drivers find roadworks – but I would like to reassure everyone that all our work is planned very carefully to cause as little disruption as possible. Some is inevitable – and we ask for drivers’ cooperation while the improvements are carried out.

Nationally, every day some four million vehicles use roads managed by the Highways Agency, that’s one third of all traffic; and around 80 per cent of all goods travel by road, with two thirds of large goods vehicles.

This maintenance work is additional to the £20.2 million investment in 4 pinch point schemes taking place in the region which 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. Pinch point schemes are ongoing on:

  • The A19/A689 Wolviston Interchange near Wynyard, Stockton
  • The A19/A174 Parkway interchange in Middlesbrough and Stockton
  • The A1/A19 Seaton Burn Interchange and Fisher Lane junction in Northumberland and
  • The A19/A1231 Hylton Grange Interchange in Sunderland.

The major £61 million upgrade of the A1 between Coal House and the Metro Centre also began this summer, widening 3.98 miles of the A1 three lanes in both directions. The scheme will 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.

Just south of the region on the A1 between Leeming and Barton the £380 million upgrade has also begun. Once complete, the existing 12 mile dual carriageway will be replaced with a new three lane motorway. 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.

During any roadworks drivers are advised to plan their journeys and allow more for travel. Drivers can get up-to-the-minute travel information by phoning the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 or by accessing the Agency’s website. Drivers can also download the Highways Agency’s iPhone app or follow updates via Twitter at @HAnews_neast.

Further information regarding current and planned roadworks in the North East plus neighbouring regions can be found on the Highways Agency website.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 29 October 2014