Northumberland to benefit as part of £600m roads investment

The A1 between Alnwick and Morpeth.
The A1 between Alnwick and Morpeth.

Consultation and surveys for the scheme to dual the A1 in Northumberland will start this year with enhancements north of Ellingham due to start in 2018.

Highways England has revealed details of the £600million investment which will take place in the North East by 2020.

The Government-owned company, which was set up earlier this year, has a five-year budget of more than £11billion to invest in England’s motorways and major A roads. The organisation will set out its plans for the North East at a launch event in Newcastle today.

Highways England will be taking forward and delivering solutions to the feasibility study carried out for the A1 North of Newcastle. Consultation with key stakeholders, traffic and environmental surveys will begin this year with the enhancements to the north of Ellingham planned to start in 2018 in advance of the dualling scheme.

One of the major schemes to be completed in the next five years is the A19 Coast Road, a £100million project due to begin in spring 2016. The A19 provides access to Port of Tyne and to major employment sites.

Highways England is proposing to improve the A19/A1058 Coast Road junction by upgrading the existing roundabout to a three-level interchange. The project will support regeneration in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, reducing congestion, increasing capacity and improving journey times at the junction. Benefits will also include improving road safety and improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

Work is also anticipated to begin on £140million of technology improvements on the A1 and A19 in 2016.

Jeremy Bloom, Highways England’s director of major projects in the north, said: “Drivers in the North East will see significant investment in major A roads and motorways across the region over the next five years. We’re investing £600million on delivering major improvements to the North East, starting or completing six major road schemes and carrying out further development of a further four major schemes.

“These schemes will bring significant benefits to the users of the strategic road network in the North East. Construction will, of course, bring some necessary disruption in the short term and we will ensure that we keep this to a minimum to keep traffic flowing”.

Highways England Yorkshire and North East divisional director, Vanessa Gilbert, added: “In addition to the £600million of major improvements across the region, it is vital that we continue to improve the existing road network as well, which is why across Yorkshire and the North East, we will be spending £130million a year for the next five years on maintenance and smaller-scale improvement schemes. Motorways and trunk roads form the backbone of the region’s economy and this huge investment will ensure they remain healthy for many years to come.”