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First phase of major A1 improvements opens

Drivers will be able to use the six mile section between Leeming and Catterick

The first phase of the major scheme to upgrade the A1 in the North East will open to traffic tomorrow.

From Friday (22 September) drivers will be able to use the six mile section between Leeming and Catterick.

All three lanes will be open without roadworks for the first time since the project began back in 2014.

It's part of a wider roadworks scheme between Leeming and Barton, which will improve journey times between London and Newcastle.

Upgrading the A1 in a big priority for the Government and this is the latest stage in our broad ranging investment plan for better transport in the north, cutting congestion and journey times.

– Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary
It's part of a wider roadworks scheme between Leeming and Barton

Highways England says the opening of this first phase is an "important milestone" and they are now halfway to completing the route.

Over the autumn period our focus will be on the remainder of the project including completing the local access road between Scotch Corner and Brompton-on-Swale and opening the new Fort Bridge which will provide and new east – west link to Catterick for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

Once Fort Bridge is fully open by the middle of November, the next major milestones will be the opening of the motorway between Scotch Corner interchange and junction 56 at Barton, and between Catterick junction and Scotch Corner interchange. The scheme will be fully open by Winter 2017/18.

– Highways England project manager, Tom Howard
All three lanes will be open without roadworks for the first time since the project began back in 2014