Roadworks lifted for bank holiday weekend

The A1 in Northumberland
The A1 in Northumberland

Roadworks on the A1 in north Northumberland are to be lifted next weekend as part of the Highways Agency’s efforts to keeping traffic moving over the August bank holiday weekend.

The Agency has said that it is ensuring that 98 per cent of England’s motorways and other major roads are free of roadworks. Around 164 miles of roadworks will be completed before the weekend and 110 miles will be suspended between Friday and Tuesday, August 26, providing extra lane capacity for holiday traffic.

Among the schemes to be lifted is the 1.9 miles of kerb-replacement work on the A1 northbound at Newton on the Moor. Elsewhere, the resurfacing works on the A1 Morpeth bypass and safety-fence maintenance on the A19 near Cramlington will be completed ahead of the weekend.

Highways Agency director of traffic management, Simon Sheldon-Wilson, said: “This bank holiday weekend, over 98 per cent of motorways and major A-roads in England will be clear of roadworks. This will be a great help to people travelling during the holiday – with roadworks lifted, more lanes will be open and many of the associated speed restrictions will also be lifted.

“To help road users, Highways Agency traffic officers and the police will work to clear up any incidents as soon as possible, but we advise drivers to check weather and travel conditions before any long journey and make sure they have maintained their vehicles, including trailers and caravans before setting out.”

It follows widespread criticism for the Agency by motorists in the Alnwick and Shilbottle areas after resurfacing work started on Tuesday without adequate signage informing drivers that the accesses onto the A1 southbound at Alnwick south, Shilbottle and Hampeth were all closed.

On Tuesday, a Highways Agency spokeswoman said: “The Highways Agency and its contractor A-one+ apologise for any inconvenience caused to local motorists in the Alnwick area this morning. The roadworks are to allow sections of resurfacing to take place along the southbound A1 between Alnwick South Interchange and West Cawledge Park, and are due to be completed this weekend.

“A contraflow traffic management system was installed on the A1 south of Alnwick last night which led to local motorists in the Alnwick and Shilbottle area experiencing difficulties this morning.

“Following feedback, we have made a detailed review of the traffic management and as a result additional signing is being installed to ensure motorists are given clearer directions for their journey through these roadworks from today.”