A19 Testos Junction Improvements
Part of our programme of improvements (value >10m)
What is happening?
We are proposing to improve the A19 by constructing a flyover to take the A19 over the Testos junction. Entry and exit slip roads will connect the A19 to the new roundabout, requiring a slightly larger roundabout than is currently in place.
Under the Highways Agency’s current preferred option for the improvement the A19 carriageway will move slightly to the west and will be raised above ground on an embankment. This will carry it over the roundabout via two bridges. Traffic to and from the north at Downhill Lane Junction willbe linked via new parallel connector roads to the new south facing slip roads at Testos Junction.
When and where is this happening?
The Testos junction connects the A19 and the A184, south of Newcastle. It is of both local and regional importance providing links between Tyneside, Wearside, East Durham and Teeside. The A19 is a strategic route that provides an alternative to the A1 between North Yorkshire and North Tyneside.
The Spending Review announcement in October 2010 listed the A19 Testos Junction Improvements Scheme for potential construction post 2015. For more information visit our Future Spending Review page.
Why is this happening and what will it cost?
In 2001 traffic signals were installed at the junction, which reduced congestion and improved safety. The current junction handles 80,000 vehicles per day and is often congested especially during rush hour periods. Expected growth in traffic means that the roundabout will become a bottleneck, resulting in longer delays and more severe congestion, increasing driver frustration.
How will the scheme be carried out?
This scheme has not been approved to move forward to construction so we do not yet have information about how this scheme would be carried out.
What are the benefits?
The objectives of the scheme are to:
- Improve road safety at the junction
- Relieve congestion associated with the roundabout
- Minimise the environmental impact of the proposals and mitigate them where possible.
How do I find out more information ?
More information will be posted on this project page as it becomes available. You can subscribe to be alerted when updates are made.
If you have any queries about this project you should contact the Highways Agency Information Line by emailing email@example.com or calling 0300 123 5000.
Landscape and visual effects
All the options would cause the loss of some trees and hedges. Three overhead powerlines running west across the A19 from a large sub-station in Mount Pleasant Marsh would be diverted to new underground ducts for the preferred option.
The non-preferred options would affect would affect power lines to a lesser extent but at least some pylons would require replacement. The preferred option uses the least land while its new embankment and lighting would be the least visually intrusive.
The preferred option would have the greatest effect on the Site of Nature Conservation Interest at Mount Pleasant Marsh. However, the other options would increase impacts on other habitats such as hedgerows, and on a wildlife corridor.
The preferred option has no significant effect whereas the other options considered would affect the historic value of Scots House and damage the wider heritage landscape.
The preferred option is the only one that would not split farmland. This potentially makes some land uneconomic to farm, and would prevent re-use of the former garage, west of Testos roundabout.
All options would improve protection for watercourses from pollution compared with the existing situation.
|Public consultation||March 2009|
|Preferred Route Announcement||TBC|
|Application to IPC for Planning Consent||TBC|
|Planning Consent Given||TBC|
|Start of Works||TBC|
Business Case - Information correct as at December 2010
Public Consultation Leaflets
Details of reports that are available on CD by request and how to obtain them
Appraisal Summary Table (AST) for A19 Testos Junction Improvements.
A19 Testos Junction Improvements fly-through Animation March 2009
Below you can view a video fly through of the proposed scheme.
You can also view a text transcript of this video.
The Preferred Route for the improvement has not yet been selected by the Secretary of State.
The Highways Agency's preferred option is an 'on-line' (following the line of the existing A19) improvement scheme. The proposal is to build a slightly larger roundabout than is currently in place and construct a flyover to take the A19 over the junction. On and off slip roads will connect the A19 to the new roundabout, which is why the new junction needs to be larger than the current one.
The A19 carriageway will move slightly to the west and will be raised above ground on an embankment. This will carry it over the roundabout via two bridges.
Traffic to and from the north at Downhill Lane Junction will be linked via new parallel connector roads to the new south facing slip roads at Testos Junction.
Preferred Online Option
Compared to other options the preferred route is:
- Significantly cheaper & provides greater value for money; and
- Requires less land and has less effect on the environment
Non- preferred options
Two 'off-line' options (not following the existing line of the A19) have been considered, both deviating to the west of the existing A19 before re-joining it and relocating the junction some 218.7 yards (200 metres) to the west.
The first off-line option would have a very similar junction arrangement to the on-line option, with the roundabout at ground level and the A19 passing over it on an embankment and two bridges.
First Offline Option
The second off-line option is different in that the A19 would remain at ground level, with the roundabout and the A184 raised above it.
Second Offline Option
Other options were considered, including further improvements to the existing junction involving a new road through the middle of the roundabout. This was rejected on the basis that it would not improve safety at the junction.
The Environmental Impact page has more details about the environmental impact of the preferred and non-preferred options.
Four options were originally identified for consideration:
- A184 east-west grade separation
- A184 west to A19 south grade separation; and
- A19 north-south on line grade separation
- A19 north-south off-line grade separation
(Grade separation is the process of building a junction at different heights (grades) so that the traffic flow will not be disrupted when the routes cross)
The first two options were discounted early for the following reasons:
|A184 East-West Grade Separation||A184 West to A19 South Grade Separation|
|Did not prioritise the A19||Difficulties in designing the layout to the required standards|
|A184 east of Testos is not a Trunk Road||Proximity of Downhill Lane junction to Testos Roundabout|
|Difficulties in tying the A184 east of Testos back into the existing alignment because of environment constraints||Overall scale of the proposal in terms of the amount of land used and environmental effects|
|West to east traffic flow is less than the A19 flow||Would not prioritise the A19|
The two remaining options, the on-line and off-line A19 grade separations were taken forward for development. Details of these are given above.