Tyne & Wear

A1 Gateshead Western Bypass widening scheme given go-ahead

Image caption The widening scheme is being extended 4.9km (3.05 miles) above what was previously planned, making 6.4km in total

Plans to widen a section of the A1 Western Bypass in Gateshead have been given the go-ahead by the government.

The road will be widened to three lanes in both directions for 6.4km (3.98 miles) from the Coal House junction to the Metro Centre. The cost is put at £61m.

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill, who approved the plans, said it would "ease congestion and improve journey times".

Work is expected to start in the summer and be completed by next year.

The section being widened is 4.9km (3.05 miles) longer than was previously planned.

That is due to £19m of savings identified in the design phase of the original scheme.

As well as widening the bypass, a new link road will be built adjacent to the A1, for north and south-bound traffic between Lobley Hill and Gateshead Quays.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said this would provide a route for local road users, helping to keep traffic moving on the A1.

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