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Warning after objects thrown on the A1

The A1 where objects are being thrown onto the road, causing a danger to drivers Credit: ITV Tyne Tees (library image)

Police are warning people who are throwing objects from bridges onto the A1 that they could kill drivers - and their families.

The message comes after two incidents in the last week where the lives of drivers on the roads were put at risk :

  • Around 7:30pm on Wednesday, July 14, two youths were seen dangling a length of hosepipe from the flyover between Westerhope and Blakelaw. The hosepipe reached the carriageway and was dragged across the lanes of traffic.
  • Thankfully due to the time of day and traffic being lighter then it did not cause any collisions however it did cause drivers to swerve to avoid it.
  • On Sunday evening, July 17, an unknown object was again thrown from the Westerhope and Blakelaw bridge. It hit and damaged the windscreen of a car that was travelling southbound.
  • Thankfully the driver was able to pull over safely.

"I struggle to understand how anyone, of any age, can think it is a good idea to throw things onto a busy motorway. The potential consequences are huge and it could end up killing a person or even people. We are carrying out plain clothed patrols in the areas near to the foot bridges to try and catch who ever is doing this and put a stop to it.

"We are also looking at getting CCTV cameras installed in the areas around the bridges so we can get images of those responsible and take action. If anyone sees or knows anyone who is doing this then please report it to us straight away.

– Newcastle Inspector Karen Murray

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A1 sinkhole: What happened and how was it fixed?

The northbound A1 near Newcastle and Gateshead between junctions 67 (Coal House) and 68 (Lobley Hill) is now fully open after repairs to a hole on the carriageway were completed overnight.

A1 near to the Lobley Hill Interchange on the Northbound carriageway.

The hole, which was 3m deep, has now been filled with a specialist concrete mixture and holes were drilled to pump more material underneath the repair to prevent further collapse.

Lynne Biddles, Highways England Project Manager, said:

We have been working hard since the hole was discovered and we have now re-opened the road in time for this morning’s rush hour. I want to thank drivers for their patience as we carried out the urgent repairs.

– Lynne Biddles

Highways England worked with key partners to put measures in place to help ease congestion.

These included installing a contraflow on the southbound section of the A1 and putting local diversion routes in place. Toll barriers were also lifted for the Tyne Tunnel but are now back in place.

The large hole under the A1 was discovered on Saturday night when a slight dip in the road surface became apparent. Workers then cut around the dip to investigate and discovered a large void underneath the road surface.

Thankfully it was in a coned off stretch due to roadworks elsewhere on the A1, so there was no traffic using the road at the time.

A1 SINKHOLE: Latest updates

A contraflow system remains in place between junctions 67 (Coal House) and 68 (Lobley Hill) in time for this morning’s peak period to enable traffic to travel in both directions along the route. It means there are two lanes travelling southbound and one travelling north.

The hole, which is 3m deep and around 6.5m diameter and believed to be related to old mine workings in the area, is in the process of being filled with specialist concrete mixture. Contractors working for Highways England are now drilling holes to pump more material underneath the repair to prevent further collapse.

The road carries an average 90,000 vehicles a day, and drivers are advised to leave extra time for their journeys.

Read advice on how to try and avoid the delays here

The sinkhole is 3m deep and around 6.5m diameter Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Safety is our top priority and we have to ensure the carriageway is totally safe before drivers use it.

In the meantime I urge all drivers in the area to check conditions before they set out and to leave plenty of extra time for their journeys. I would also like to thank drivers in advance for their patience as we carry out this complex task.

– Rob Beckitt, duty operations manager at Highways England

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