The UK Government will open the first phase of the North East's A1 improvement scheme to traffic on 22 September.

Following the upgrade, drivers are set to benefit from the additional capacity and improved road information on the six-mile section between Leeming and Catterick.

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Upgrading the A1 is a big priority for the Government and this is the latest stage in our broad-ranging investment plan for better transport in the north, cutting congestion and journey times.”

The completion of the full scheme between Leeming and Barton will improve the safety of the commuters and establish the missing motorway link between London and Newcastle.

"The travel time between Leeming and Barton is expected to be reduced by nearly 20%."

Highways England (HE) project manager Tom Howard said: “This is an important milestone and means we are now halfway to completing this major scheme on this vitally important route.

“Over the autumn period, our focus will be on the remainder of the project, including completing the local access road between Scotch Corner and Brompton-on-Swale and opening the new Fort Bridge, which will provide new east-west link to Catterick for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.”

HE intends to open the Fort Bridge by November and, once it is opened, the highway authorities will focus on the opening of the motorway between Scotch Corner interchange and junction 56 at Barton. They will also concentrate on the motorway links between Catterick junction and Scotch Corner interchange.

Upon completion of the project, the travel time between Leeming and Barton is expected to be reduced by nearly 20%.