Those of us with a reasonable memory will recall a “Grand Scheme” (Gromit) or a ‘Cunning plan’ (Black Adder) to upgrade the A1 from Redhouse to the M62. Well that was 28 years ago, and nothing has happened so you might think it has gone away. Apart from a couple of trials around five years ago, when they closed the access to the A1 along Scorcher Hills Lane to assess impact, all that has been achieved is the removal of the crazy lay-bys which required 38 tonne trucks to accelerate from a standing start to 56 mph in 50 yards – uphill!
This stretch of the A1 has the worst accident rate in the country – something we don’t necessarily feel that proud of.
But fear not things are ticking away somewhere warm and dark. Herewith the current status from Highways England. Don’t hold your breath as “options are still being considered”, which translates as “don’t ring us we’ll ring you” and it’s the government fault, Brexit and ‘we’re very busy at the moment but your call is important to us please hang on” all rolled into one.
The A1 Redhouse to Darrington and A1(M) Doncaster bypass are two of several of schemes identified in the government’s Road Investment Strategy for 2015-20, for development in the current Roads Period 1, for potential delivery in Roads Period 2 (2020-25), subject to funding being available. We’re at a very early stage of developing the A1 M18 to M62 scheme and development work is under way to consider available options, costs, benefits and potential phasing of the schemes for delivery.
We’re now beginning a range of surveys and assessment work to give us information about traffic volumes and the local environment. This information will help us explore different design options that would meet our aims for the project.
We’re also beginning discussions with local authorities and technical stakeholders so we can take their views into account.
Find out more about our ecological surveys by reading the fact sheet in the documents section of this page.
Survey work is now complete and we’re now awaiting the announcement of the next Road Investment Strategy (RIS2). Further details and information on the next steps will be updated after this announcement.
Why we need this scheme
Currently the route is congested, especially on weekday mornings and evenings, and has a number of local road accesses between Redhouse and Darrington. The number of accidents recorded on this route is higher than the national average.
In 2015, a number of packages were developed to improve the section of the A1 between Redhouse and Darrington to provide safety benefits, and in some instances, additional capacity at junctions. In total, nine laybys were closed to improve safety for drivers.
The aims of the scheme are to:
- relieve congestion
- improve journey time variability
- reduce the number of accidents and casualties
- support regeneration and the regional economy
- complement other improvements to the strategic road network in the region
- improve, as far as possible, environment and to ensure that impacts on people, fauna, flora and other natural assets adjacent to proposals are minimised