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Contract awarded for A1 widening improvement works

Good news for North East road users and businesses as the Highways Agency today (3 June 2014) awards the contract for building the congestion-busting A1 Coal House to Metro Centre improvement.

Balfour Beatty will start work this summer to widen around 4 miles of the A1 Western Bypass to three lanes in both directions. As well as adding more capacity on the A1, they will build a new 0.33 mile parallel link road, for north and south-bound traffic, between Lobley Hill and A184 Gateshead Quays junctions.

Roads Minister Robert Goodwill welcomed today’s award: “Once completed in spring 2016 the £61 million A1 improvement to the Western Bypass will not only increase capacity by widening the road north to Metro Centre junction and south to Coal House junction, but will also reduce congestion and help economic growth in the area.”

Chief Executive Officer of Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK, Nicholas Pollard, said:
“Balfour Beatty is delighted with the award of the A1 Coal House to Metro Centre road improvement scheme. We are intensely committed to working hard to improve the local transport infrastructure to help support and boost the local economy.”

North East Local Enterprise Partnership board member, David Land, who has responsibility for transport, added: “Improvements to our strategic road network are a key component of our new Strategic Economic Plan, and vital for the continued prosperity of the region and creating more and better jobs.”

Leader of Gateshead Council, Cllr Mick Henry, said: “The A1 Western Bypass has become Tyneside’s key artery. When complete, these improvements will increase capacity, improve road safety and reduce journey times. This will make a significant difference to the daily lives of many and provide a real boost to our region’s economy.”

Newcastle City Councillor Nick Forbes, who also has lead responsibility for transport on the North East Combined Authority, said: “I welcome this investment in tackling congestion and speeding up journey times. It’s is just one of the benefits of the City Deal which I signed with government in 2012. Although there will be some short term disruption while the work is carried out, the improvement will be well worth the wait.”

In July, ahead of construction work starting, public exhibitions will be held to give people more information about the project and how they might be affected while this vital work is carried out. Dates and times will be announced in due course.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the scheme and registering for regular updates, can do so by visiting the scheme’s website at http://www.highways.gov.uk/A1CoalhouseMetroCentre.

The project team can be contacted directly by writing to the A1 Coal House to Metro Centre Project Team at Major Projects North, Highways Agency, Lateral, 8 City Walk, Leeds, LS11 9AT, emailing them at [email protected], or calling the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
Today, the Agency also announced the preferred option for the A19/A184 Testos junction improvement scheme, south of Newcastle.

Once completed, people using this key route in the North East will benefit from safer journeys, reduced congestion and more reliable journey times. For further information visit the project’s website http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/road-projects/a19-testos-junction-improvements/.