The A1 Birtley to Coal House Improvement Scheme is set to go ahead after being granted development consent.
The project will include the widening of the A1 south of Gateshead to four lanes between junction 65 and 67 on the southbound carriageway and three lanes with lane gain/ drop between junctions on northbound carriageway to provide additional capacity.
The scheme will also include the off-line replacement of Allerdene Railway Bridge immediately south of the existing structure to tie into the existing structure at Junction 67 Coal House.
The approved development consent order provides for the upgrading of the A1 in the route which runs adjacent to the Angel of the North including hearing directly from the sculptor, Anthony Gormley. The sensitivity of this location was carefully considered during the examinations and additional requirements added to control lighting and noise to protect the Angel and its setting, according to the government.
The Planning Inspectorate’s Chief Executive, Sarah Richards said: “This marks the 100th Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and 36th transport application to have been examined and decided within the timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008. The Planning Inspectorate is committed to giving local communities the opportunity of being involved in the examination of projects that may affect them. Local people, the local authority and other interested parties were able to participate in the examination where the Examining Authority listened and gave full consideration to local views before making their recommendation.”