Girish Mahajan (Editor)

A1(M) motorway

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Length:  24 mi (39 km)
History:  Constructed 1962–1986
To:  Stotfold
Existed:  1962 – present
From:  South Mimms
A1(M) motorway
Primary destinations:  Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth

Smoke on a1 m motorway near junction 37 doncaster

A1(M) is the designation given to a series of five separate motorway sections in England. Each section is an upgrade to a section of the A1, a major North-South road, which connects London, the capital of England, with Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. The first section, the Doncaster Bypass, opened in 1961 and is one of the oldest sections of motorway in Britain. Construction of a new section of A1(M) is currently underway between Leeming and Barton, with an anticipated opening in 2017. When complete it will link the Barton to Washington section with the Darrington to Leeming Bar section, forming the longest A1(M) section overall and reducing the number from five to four.


Map of A1(M), Leeds LS25, UK


Most of the English section of the A1 is a series of alternating sections of dual carriageway and motorway. From Newcastle upon Tyne to Edinburgh it is a trunk road with alternating sections of dual and single carriageway. The table below summaries the road as motorways and non-motorways sections,

The motorway sections are discussed below.

South Mimms to Stotfold

This section opened in stages:

  • Junctions 1 to 2 opened in 1979
  • Junctions 2 to 4 opened in 1986
  • Junctions 4 to 6 opened in 1973
  • Junctions 6 to 8 opened in 1962
  • Junctions 8 to 10 opened in 1967
  • Alconbury to Peterborough

    This section opened in 1998. This stretch is designed to a noticeably high standard, eight miles of it being four lanes in each direction whilst the remainder has three lanes in each direction. It is managed by Road Management Services (Peterborough) Ltd under a DBFO contract with the Highways Agency.

    Blyth to Skellow (Doncaster By-Pass)

    This section opened in 1961 and is one of the oldest sections of motorway in Britain, and is entirely two lanes in each direction.


    Data from driver location signs are used to provide distance and carriageway identifier information.

    Darrington to Leeming Bar

    This section opened in sections:

  • Walshford to 49 opened in 1995
  • Junctions 43 to 44 opened in 1999
  • When this section opened it ended at a temporary terminus south of the M1. There was a final exit into Micklefield Village for non-motorway traffic onto what is now the access road. During the first week of June 2009, Junctions 44 and 45 were renumbered to 43 and 44. At the same time the existing A1/A659 Grange Moor junction became A1(M) Junction 45. As a result many atlases show incorrect junction numbering for this stretch of motorway.
  • Junction 46 to temporary junction at Walshford opened in 2005
  • Junction 40 to south of 43 opened in 2005 & 2006
  • The northern section of the upgrade, bypassing Fairburn village opened to traffic in April 2005 with a temporary connection with the existing A1 between Fairburn and Brotherton. The southern section, with a free-flow interchange with the M62 motorway opened to traffic on 13 January 2006.
  • Junctions 44 to 46 opened in 2009
  • Junctions 49 to 51 opened in 2011 & 2012
  • Work began in March 2009 to upgrade the Dishforth to Leeming section to dual 3-lane motorway standard with existing connections being replaced by two new junctions. The Dishforth to Baldersby Section (J49 to J50) was completed in October 2011 and the Baldersby to Leeming section (J50 to J51) was opened to traffic on 31 March 2012.


    Data from driver location signs are used to provide distance and carriageway identifier information.

    Leeming Bar to Barton

    Work on upgrading the Leeming Bar to Barton section to three-lane motorway began in April 2014. Work is expected to be completed by Spring 2017, by when the A1 will be continuous motorway standard from Darrington, West Yorkshire to Washington, Tyne and Wear.

    There will be two junctions on the route; J52 will be situated on the A6136 near Catterick and J53 at the existing Scotch Corner junction for the A66. As with other sections an access road will run parallel to the A1(M) for local traffic.

    Barton to Washington

    This section opened in stages:

  • Junctions 56 to 59 opened in 1965
  • Junctions 59 to 63 opened in 1969
  • Junctions 63 to 65 opened in 1970
  • References

    A1(M) motorway Wikipedia