Motorists facing 'severe delays' of up to 30 minutes on A1 near Birtley

A1 delays of 40 minutes near Birtley as cars come to a standstill over Bank Holiday weekend
-Credit: (Image: National Highways)

Motorists travelling on Bank Holiday Monday are facing delays of up to 30 minutes on the A1.

There are 'severe delays' on the A1 near Birtley which are being caused by an emergency closure to allow emergency works to be carried out on a 4m void. National Highways announced that full southbound closures on the A1 (M) will continue into the coming week.

The southbound road was closed overnight from Thursday into Friday last week for 'investigations and remedial work', which comes after issues with mine workings and a large void were discovered close to the road. The carriageway between junctions 68 and 65 was then completely closed overnight on Friday and Saturday.

The exit slip road at Birtley has remained closed, meaning that there has been no access to the A1231 from the A1 southbound, and non-motorway traffic is being diverted to leave the A1 at junction 66.

The 'four-metre void' was discovered close to the road on Wednesday night, and there were significant delays throughout the day and one lane closed. The void has now been filled and made safe, but National Highways personnel have been further investigating the issue and carrying out permanent repairs.

National Highways Project Manager Helen Burrow said: "We’re working to have the road fully reopened as soon as it’s safe to do so. We’re continuing to carry out further exploratory work and, at the moment, anticipate that the repairs will continue this week.

"We’ll continue to share progress updates as we get a clearer picture of how long the closures will need to remain in place. We appreciate road users have already experienced delays, especially during peak times, but the closures are essential to make sure everybody gets to their destination safely.

"While they’re in place, we strongly advise everyone to plan ahead and allow plenty of extra time to travel. People may wish to avoid the area entirely, plan alternative routes if possible, and avoid travelling during the busiest periods."

The National Highways customer contact centre is also available at 0300 123 5000 or email