A1 Birtley to Coal House

Traffic on this busy section of the A1 is congested, especially during peak hours – making journeys unreliable. The number of vehicles using the road will increase with new housing and employment developments planned for the area, so road improvements are needed.

Start date July-Sept 2021
End date 2024/25
Cost TBC

Latest updates

  • 25 January 2021

    Project given permission

    On 19 January the Secretary of State for Transport gave permission for this scheme to be constructed. This permission is called a Development Consent Order and you can find out more about it on the Planning Inspectorate's website. We are currently looking at when we will start work and this will be no later than summer 2021.

  • 27 October 2020

    Development Consent decision expected January 2021

    We’re expecting a final decision on the scheme by 21 January 2021. This decision is made by the Secretary of State for Transport who will say whether the scheme has permission to be constructed. Once a decision has been made, a letter and report will be published on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

    You can read more about the process in our Development Consent Order (DCO) leaflet. You can also access all the information about the DCO on the Planning Inspectorate’s website free of charge, including:

    • The application form and other documents
    • Maps and plans
    • The environmental statement


    Contacting our team

    If you’d like to contact the team about this scheme, please email:



    We’re not currently able to collect post as we’re playing our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

  • 28 August 2020

    DCO (Development Consent Order) Examination Closed – 21 July 2020

    We submitted the DCO to the Planning Inspectorate on 14 August 2019 and it was accepted for examination on 10 September 2019.

    The examination, a six-month process, started on 21 January 2020 and closed on 21 July 2020. The Planning Inspectorate now has three months to submit their recommendations to the Secretary of State for Transport. This will be no later than 21 October 2020. The Secretary of State then has three months to make a decision which will be no later than 21 January 2021.

    All documents relating to the DCO, including the application form and accompanying documents, maps and plans, and the Environmental Statement can still be viewed electronically and free of charge on the Planning Inspectorate's National Infrastructure website.

    As we react to the government measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the project team are no longer able to receive postal enquires about the scheme.

    We ask that all enquiries are made via email to:


Project information


We will be improving approximately four miles of the A1 between junctions 65 (Birtley) and 67 (Coal House). The existing road will be widened between the junctions to help manage traffic joining and leaving the A1:

  • Northbound we’ll increase the number of lanes from two to three.
  • Southbound we’ll increase the number of lanes from three to four.

Junction 65, 66 and 67 will be modified to accommodate the additional lanes.

We also plan to replace Allerdene railway bridge, which carries the A1 over the east coast mainline railway. The current bridge was built nearly 40 years ago and requires regular maintenance which can cause disruption to traffic. We’ll build the new bridge just south of the existing bridge.

We’re designing this improvement scheme to benefit road users, local communities, and to support the region’s economy.

Once completed it will:

  • reduce congestion by increasing capacity for road users
  • improve the reliability of peoples’ journeys and reduce delays by increasing capacity of the road network
  • make journeys safer by improving the standard and capacity of the road
  • help support economic growth by improving the road to the Newcastle and Tyneside area (Team Valley Employment Zone)
  • support the government’s initiative for growth in the north


Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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