A19 Testos and Downhill Lane Junction Improvements

Project status:   Planned

Start date:   By the end of March 2019
End date:  By the end of March 2021

Type:   Major Scheme
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Major Scheme

Part of our programme of improvements (value >10m)

Cost:  TBC


We are working on plans to improve both the A19/A184 Testos junction and the A19 Downhill Lane junction. We’ve combined these two schemes together as one project so we can deliver them faster and more efficiently.

Because we’ve combined these schemes the Testos junction improvement will be delayed while we design the Downhill Lane junction improvements. We will also need to carry out further consultation before we start construction.

What is happening?

We are developing improvements for the A19 Testos and Downhill Lane junctions. We will carry out these two junction improvements together as a single scheme.

At Testos junction we plan to raise the A19 above the A184 on a flyover. We are still working on designs for the improvements at Downhill Lane.

Public Consultation

The public consultation documentation is available to view on GOV​.UK including a questionnaire open until 28th November 2014 to capture views.

When and where is this happening?

The Testos junction connects the A19 and the A184 south of Newcastle. It provides important links between Tyneside, Wearside, East Durham and Teesside.

The Downhill Lane junction is located approximately 1.1km to the South of the Testos junction, between the A19 and the A1290 in Sunderland.

We plan to start construction by March 2020.

Why is this happening and what will it cost?

The A19 Testos Junction currently handles around 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, more severe congestion and increased driver frustration.

Development of the International Advanced Manufacturing Park, promoted by South Tyneside and Sunderland Councils will mean a long term increase in traffic at the Downhill Lane junction. We need to make sure it is able to cope with increased vehicle numbers.

By delivering both junction improvements in one single scheme we hope to save the taxpayer around £3.3 million.

How will the scheme be carried out?

We’re still at the early design stages. We will provide more details about how the scheme will be constructed once we have successfully completed the consultation period and obtained all the necessary consents required to carry out the work.

What are the benefits?

The objectives of this scheme are to:

  • support economic growth
  • provide a safe and serviceable road network
  • provide a more free-flowing road network
  • improve the environment
  • provide an accessible and integrated road network

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 ha_​info@​highways.​gsi.​gov.​uk or calling 0300 123 5000.

Public consultation

You’ll be able to comment on our proposals for Downhill Lane in spring 2016. We’ll alert you closer to the time via this website and via our email alerts.

The project is classed as a national significant infrastructure project under the planning Act 2008. As such we will be required to make an application for a Development Consent Order to construct the project.

Landscape and visual effects

All the options for the A19 Testos junction 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.

As the Downhill Lane junction is still in the options design phase, any impacts are still unknown.


The preferred option for the Testos junction would have a minor effect on the Site of Nature Conservation Interest at Mount Pleasant Marsh. The other options would have a minmal effect on other habitats such as hedgerows, and on a wildlife corridor.

As the Downhill Lane junction is still in the options design phase, any impacts are still unknown.

Cultural Heritage

The preferred option for the Testos junction has no significant effect whereas the other options considered would affect the historic value of Scots House and damage the wider heritage landscape.

As the Downhill Lane junction is still in the options design phase, any impacts are still unknown.

Land Use

The preferred option for the Testos junction is the only one that would not split farmland, which could potentially make some land uneconomical to farm.

As the Downhill Lane junction is still in the options design phase, any impacts are still unknown.

Water Environment

All options for the Testos junction would improve protection for watercourses from pollution compared with the existing situation.

As the Downhill Lane junction is still in the options design phase, any impacts are still unknown.

Option Identification & SelectionSpring 2016
Preliminary DesignSummer 2017
Statutory Procedures & PowersAutumn/ Winter 2018
Construction PreparationAutumn/Winter 2018
Construction CompletionAutumn/Winter 2020
Handover & CloseoutSpring 2021

Business Case

A19 Testos Junction Improvements - Business Case
Business Case - Information correct as at December 2010


A19 Testos Junction Improvements - Preferred Route Announcement
This leaflet summarises the consultation results and presents the preferred route, announced by the Secretary of State on 03 June 2014.


A19 Testos Junction Improvement - Exhibition Boards
Public Consultation exhibition boards


A19 Testos Junction Improvement General Layout
General Layout Plans - A19 Testos Junction Improvement


A19 Testos Junction Improvements - Appraisal Summary Table
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 Testos junction improvement was announced by the Secretary of State on 3rd June 2014.

The Preferred Route Announcement leaflet in the Publications tab explains the preferred route, and what will happen next.