A1 Coal House to Metro Centre Improvement

Project status:   Current

Start date:   26 August 2014
End date:  By the end of June 2016

Type:   Major Scheme
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Major Scheme

Part of our programme of improvements (value >10m)

Cost:  £61 million


Overnight closures on the A1 Coal House to Metro Centre scheme

From Monday 25th January through until the end of June, the A1 near Gateshead will be closed from 8pm to 6am, Monday to Friday. This will allow us to finish off various works within the central reservation. From the end of March until completion of the scheme there will be further overnight closures between Monday to Friday at 8pm to 6am. The details regarding the type of working being carried out will be available nearer to the time and updated on the website.

Closures may be subject to change, and any changes to planned lane closures will be notified in advance on this web page.

Please check journey impact tab for closure locations, times and the work being carried out.

For any queries regarding scheme please contact:

Joanne Inglis

Public Liaison Officer

Balfour Beatty

E: Joanne.​Inglis@​balfourbeatty.​com

M: 07824 406 050

Spring 2016 Newsletter

The aim of the newsletter is to work closely with local residents, stakeholders and road users to ensure that there is minimal disruption caused during construction and for the newsletter to keep those informed of how the project is progressing.

For previous newsletters please visit the publications tab under the heading newsletters.

What is happening?

We propose to upgrade the A1 between the Coal House and Metro Centre junctions by:

  • creating new parallel link roads between the Lobley Hill and the Gateshead Quay (A184) junctions
  • increasing the lane capacity on the A1 main line from 2 lanes to 3 lanes in each direction
  • reconfiguring existing merge and diverge arrangements
  • the scheme can be built within the existing highways boundary which means that no additional land will be required

When and where is this happening?

The A1Coal House to Metro Centre section is approximately 3.98 miles long and forms part of the A1Gateshead western bypass. The minister has announced the start of works as 26 August 2014. The scheme is expected to be fully open to traffic in June 2016.

Why is this happening and what will it cost?

Very high volumes of traffic are moving on and off the A1 at closely position junctions. This causes very heavy congestion daily in both directions. This in turn results in stationary or slow moving traffic on the A1 and the strategic links into and out of Gateshead, causing long delays and unreliable journey times.

The original A1 Lobley Hill to Dunston scheme was first identified in 2009/2010. However, funding was not available to take it forward at that time.

In 2012 both Newcastle and Gateshead Councils and the government, with the support of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, developed the Newcastle City Deal to help boost economy across the region. A key component of the transport element of the City Deal is the implementation of this scheme which will help support development and economic growth.

Changes to the scheme design during the development phase identified an opportunity to extend the 3 lane element of this scheme south to Coal House junction and north to Metro Centre junction. This change in scope would provide 3.98 miles of continuous 3 lane carriageway, an increase of 3 miles compared to the 1 mile that was originally planned.

The estimated cost of this scheme is in the range of £58 million to £77 million.

How will the scheme be carried out?

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 southbound traffic, between Lobley Hill and Gateshead Quays. This will provide a route for local road users, helping to keep traffic moving on the A1.

What are the benefits?

The scheme will help reduce congestion and facilitate opportunities for development and economic growth around this key transport corridor in line with the regional commitments made in the Newcastle City Deal.

The A1 Lobley Hill to Dunston Improvement scheme aims to:

  • improve journey time reliability
  • reduce the number and severity of accidents
  • support local regeneration and development plans
  • increase capacity

How do I find out more information ?

More information will be posted on this project page as it becomes available. You can subscribe to be alerted when updates are made.

If you have any queries about this project you should contact the Highways Agency Information Line by emailing ha_​info@​highways.​gsi.​gov.​uk or calling 0300 123 5000.

If you have any further questions of queries, you can contact the public liaison officer Joanne Inglis on 07824 406 050.

Wednesday to Thurs 8.30am to 5.15pm

Friday 8.30am to 3.30pm

Alternatively you can email the project team on: a1​coalhousetometrocentre@​highwaysengland.​co.​uk

Details of scheduled roadworks are provided to help you plan your journey. Please note that works are weather- and resource- dependent and may need to be cancelled at short notice. This information is not updated in real time so please check Traffic England for current traffic conditions. Diversion timings are approximate and act as a guide only.

Will there be roadworks?

Yes, there will be roadworks on this section of the A1 in order to construct the scheme. There will be various overnight lane closures on the A1 when there is a need to close multiple lanes for safety reasons. For these closures a single lane will remain open in each direction.

Full overnight road closures will occasionally be required to allow works to be carried out safely. These will be notified in advance together with details of the diversion routes and will be kept to a minimum. The works will be taking place simultaneously across three sections. Each section will be constructed independently, allowing for greater flexibility.

These sections are:

  • northern section: junction 71 (Swalwell) to junction 69 (A184 Gateshead Quays)
  • central section: junction 69 (A184 Gateshead Quays) to junction 68 (Lobley Hill)
  • southern section: junction 68 (Lobley Hill) to junction 67 (Coal House)

Road Works

DateDurationDetailsAllow an Extra
2 - 3 June 20168pm to 6amNorthbound closure between junction 67 and junction 70. Southbound lane closure leading to full closure between junction 69 and junction 67. Southbound entry slip closure at junction 70. A184 westbound closure on approach to junction 69.Drivers are being advised to add an extra 5 to 10 minutes to their journey time
3 - 5 June 20168pm to 6amNorthbound exit slip closure at junction 69. (58 hour closure from 8pm on Friday 3 June to 6am on Monday 6 June)Drivers are being advised to add an extra 5 to 10 minutes to their journey time
4 - 5 June 20168pm to 6amNorthbound up and over closure at junction 68.Drivers are being advised to add an extra 5 to 10 minutes to their journey time
6 - 10 June 20168pm to 6amNorthbound closure between junction 67 and junction 70. Southbound lane closure leading to up and over closure at junction 70. Southbound exit slip closure at junction 69. A184 westbound closure on approach to junction 69.Drivers are being advised to add an extra 5 to 10 minutes to their journey time

How will you manage traffic?

Traffic will be managed to minimise disruption, however, there will inevitably be some delays during the construction works. Traffic management proposals will include narrow lanes, road cones, reduced speed limits, CCTV and safety cameras. A free recovery service will be available to ensure incidents within the works area are cleared safely and as quickly as possible to minimise disruption.

During the day, 2 lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction between the hours of 6am to 8pm, all dependant on traffic counts. This will be achieved by reducing the lane widths and running the traffic contraflow in certain situations. Traffic will be reduced to one lane overnight only when necessary for safety reasons and when the traffic flows allow.

A maximum of 40mph speed limit plus narrow lanes will be in place during the works.

Traffic management and diversion route proposals have been discussed with Gateshead Council and Newcastle City Council.

Will there be diversions?

During road closures, traffic will be diverted from the A1. The A1 at Gateshead will be closed northbound and southbound on a series of midweek overnight closures commencing Tuesday 26 August 2014 through until June 2016. There will also be a number of lane closures and slip road closures during this time. These closures will allow the contractor to carry out temporary road markings, install temporary barriers and remove and erect new sign gantries.

A detailed environmental assessment has been completed. The assessment considered the impact of the scheme during both the construction phase and once it is open to traffic. A report on the findings of the assessment was completed in spring 2014. The conclusions of the report are available on the scheme website.

The subjects covered in the report include:

  • noise and vibrationAir quality
  • landscape
  • cultural heritage
  • nature conservation
  • geology
  • people and communities
  • road drainage and water

The impacts identified in the environmental assessment have been considered, together with comments from the public exhibitions and changes have been made to the scheme where possible to minimise impacts.

Water and drainage

We have looked at how the scheme will impact the local water environment. Changes to the road layout that may increase surface run-off have been identified and action will be taken to mitigate any adverse impacts so that the scheme will not contribute to flood risk in the area.


The noise assessment has considered the change in noise levels during construction and as a result of the operation of the scheme. The assessment also takes into account the impact of expected changes in traffic flows and speed, as well as changes to the road alignment. Areas have been identified where noise may cause disturbance and action will be taken to mitigate any adverse impacts. The scheme is not expected to have any significant adverse impact on noise levels.

Mitigation measures to reduce construction noise impacts include:

  • using quieter plant and less intrusive methods
  • using acoustic screens
  • where possible, carrying out more work during the day
  • monitoring noise levels during construction, in consultation with Gateshead council
  • the entire section from Coal House to the Metro Centre will be resurfaced with a low noise road surface to reduce traffic noise when the scheme is completed

If you feel that you are adversely affected by the scheme there is an opportunity to submit a claim under Part 1 of the Land Compensation Act 1973 one year after the scheme is open to traffic. Notices will be placed in local newspapers advising the public of the process for submitting a claim. Work on the scheme, including the above continues to cover the extended scheme area (Coal House to Metro Centre)

A summary of the environmental assessment can be found on the 'publications' tab.

First public information exhibition held at Dunston Activity Centre and Ravensdene Lodge Hotel21 and 22 June 2013
Development of preliminary design and the environmental assessmentSummer 2013
Second public information exhibition to include the results of the Environmental Assessment Report10 and 11 January 2014
Publication of Environmental Assessment Report resultsWinter 2014
Appointment of contractorSpring 2014
Pre- construction public information exhibition18 and 19 July 2014
Start of worksAugust 2014
Open to trafficJune 2016


Scheme progress April 2016
Scheme progression leaflet


A1 Coal House to Metro Centre Improvement - Newsletter 2014
A1 Coal House to Metro Centre Improvement - Newsletter November 2014


A1 Lobley Hill to Dunston Improvement - Notification of Determination
The Notification of Determination was published on the 20 March 2014 and the challenge period runs until the 1 May 2014.


A1 Coal House to Metro Centre Improvement - Public Exhibition Information - August 2014
Copy of the information boards that were on display at the August 2014 Public Information Exhibition.
A1 Lobley Hill Improvement - Public Exhibition Information - January 2014
Copy of the information boards that were on display at the January 2014 Public Information Exhibition.
A1 Lobley Hill Improvement - Public Exhibition Information - June 2013
Copy of the information boards and PDF drawing of the plans that were on display at the June 2013 Public Information Exhibition.


A1 Lobley Hill to Dunston Improvement - Environmental Assessment Report (EAR)
The Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) Summary presents the findings of an environmental review and assessment of the potential environmental impacts and effects of the implementation of the proposed scheme.