Press release

Public information exhibition for A1 Coal House to Metro Centre Improvement Scheme

Members of the public are invited to see plans for the new A1 Coal House to Metro Centre Improvement scheme, which will reduce congestion on the A1 around Gateshead. The plans have been updated to include the extension of the scheme which was approved by Roads Minister Robert Goodwill in May.


Once complete, 3.98 miles of the A1 will be widened to three lanes in both directions – an additional 3.05 miles to what was previously planned, meaning the Western Bypass will be improved from the Coal House junction up to the Metro Centre junction, not just from Lobley Hill to Dunston.

As well as widening the A1, a new 0.33 mile parallel link road will be built adjacent to the mainline A1, for north and south-bound traffic, between Lobley Hill and Gateshead Quays. This will provide a route for local road users, helping to keep traffic moving on the A1.

Work is due to start construction in August.

The exhibition will be held on:

  • Friday 18 July, 10.30am to 8pm at Dunston Activity Centre, Ellison Road, Gateshead, NE11 9SS
  • Saturday 19 July, 10am to 4pm at Lobley Hill Primary School, Rothbury Gardens, Lobley Hill, Gateshead, NE11 0AT

Highways Agency project manager, Lynne Biddles, said:

Once complete this scheme will increase capacity, reduce congestion for people using the A1 Western Bypass, and support development in this area. The works to improve capacity, lighting and signalling at Coal House junction will reduce congestion and improve journey time reliability during the construction of the major works.

This exhibition is an opportunity for anyone interested in finding out more to see maps and plans – both for the major works and the Coal House junction improvement - and to talk to Highways Agency staff and others who will be responsible for delivering the scheme.

Planned improvements to the Coal House junction are also being carried out in conjunction with the major works in order to minimise disruption.

These works will include installation of part-time traffic signals and improvements to the traffic signs and road markings at the roundabout. Street lighting will also be improved and resurfacing will take place on the A1 Coal House slip roads. A number of the approaches to the roundabout will also be widened to increase capacity, at the junction, including:

  • the southbound carriageway of Kingsway South between Eleventh Avenue and Coal House roundabout
  • the carriageway to Lamesley Lane at the junction with Coal House roundabout

The scheme will reduce congestion and will also assist drivers by improving journey time reliability during construction of the major works which are due to begin in August.

Members of the public or other interested parties can find out more about the scheme by coming to the exhibitions and by visiting the Highways Agency’s website, writing to the A1 Coal House to Metro Centre Project Team at Major Projects North, Highways Agency, Lateral, 8 City Walk, Leeds, LS11 9AT, emailing them at or calling the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.

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 17 July 2014