Press release

Two congestion cutting schemes begin in Tyne and Wear

Two Highways Agency schemes aimed at cutting congestion and improving journeys for drivers in Tyne and Wear will begin shortly.

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The schemes at Hylton Grange in Sunderland and Seaton Burn in North Tyneside will get underway in May and June. These ‘pinch point’ schemes provide smaller scale improvements that can deliver big returns by easing congestion and making journey times more reliable for road users, including hauliers and commuters to help boost local economies and drive economic growth.

Highways Agency Assistant Project Manager, Steve Bishop, said:

These two schemes are great news for drivers in the region. Once complete the schemes will cut congestion and reduce journey times. This will improve safety for drivers using these junctions and also have a positive impact on the local economy.

The £2.9 million A19/A1231 Hylton Grange junction scheme aims to increase capacity at the junction, which will help reduce congestion in the area and improve safety. The work will begin on 19 May and be completed by November. The scheme will:

  • widen the A1231 eastbound carriageway on the western approach to the junction with the A19 from two lanes to three
  • provide new traffic signal equipment on the A19 /A1231 roundabout

During the work a 30mph temporary speed limit will be in place on the A1231 either side of the A19 junction and also on the roundabout. Narrow lanes and lane closures will be necessary on the A1231 eastbound approach to the A19 junction. Work will mainly take place between 7am and 6pm Monday to Fridays, although work on the carriageway will be limited to off-peak periods. Some weekend working may also be required.

Work on the £6.5 million, A1/A19 Seaton Burn junction will begin on 2 June and be completed in December, helping to reduce congestion and improve journey times. It will support a number of future developments in the area, which will have the potential to create 17,300 jobs and 16,300 homes by 2020. The scheme will involve:

  • improving the northbound and southbound exit slip roads from the A1 at Seaton Burn junction
  • widening the Fisher Lane roundabout, and also the A1068, A1 and A19 approaches to the roundabout
  • installing traffic signals on the B1318 approach to the junction
  • improving pedestrian and cyclist facilities across Fisher Lane roundabout
  • providing a new concrete barrier on the A1
  • installing new traffic signs, signals, lighting, retaining walls and landscaping

Work will take place during the day and night and there will be narrow lanes in place on the northbound A1 and A19 carriageways. During the work there will be night time lane closures, full closures and speed restrictions. It will also be necessary to close Fisher Lane roundabout for four weekends, during which time signed diversion routes will be put in place.

The schemes are part of a £317 million Pinch Point improvement programme designed to boost local economies, reduce congestion and improve safety on the strategic road network in England. The programme is part of the UK Government’s growth initiative, outlined during the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November 2011.

There are 4 Highways Agency Pinch Point schemes, totalling an investment of over £21m, taking place in the north east. Schemes at the A19/A689 Wolviston Interchange, Stockton-on-Tees and A19/A174 Parkway junction, Thornaby-on-Tees will begin in early May.

Further information is available on the Highways Agency website Information on the Pinch Point programme can be found on the Highways Agency’s website

These schemes are part of a major programme of road improvements planned in the north east, with the region benefiting from over £500 million of investments beginning this year.

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 1 May 2014