A68 road

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A68 shield
A68
A68 road map.png
Major junctions
FromDarlington
Major intersections
ToEdinburgh City Bypass
Location
CountryUnited Kingdom
Primary
destinations
Road network
A67 A69

The A68 is a major road in the United Kingdom, running from Darlington in England to the A720 in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It is the only major road to cross the Anglo-Scottish border for a long distance either way; the next crossings are the A697 from Coldstream to Cornhill-on-Tweed in the east, and the A7 near Canonbie to the west.

Route[edit]

Border at Carter Bar

The southernmost section of the A68, as it leaves Darlington, has been described as a "rustbelt".[1] In January 2022 there was a proposal to widen key roundabouts in Darlington to ease traffic flow.[2] The road crosses the A1(M) at Copshaw Hill Interchange.[3] It bypasses Bishop Auckland and runs through West Auckland, Toft Hill and Tow Law, where Durham County Council has installed a live camera so that drivers can check traffic and weather.[4] It then passes Consett and Corbridge; it used to pass through the centre of the town but since 1979 has run on a bypass to the east, crossing the River Tyne over Styford Bridge.[5] During the construction of the bypass, Roman burials, glass and coins were found, and some traces of Dere Street.[6] To return to the previous route of the A68 it is concurrent with the A69 for 2.9 miles (4.7 km), before turning off north again. The road passes through rural Northumberland, following the route of Dere Street for much of this stretch, which is considered highly scenic.[7]

The A68 crosses the Scottish border at Carter Bar, then runs through the Border towns of Jedburgh, St Boswells, Earlston and Lauder before going over Soutra Hill, passing through Pathhead and by-passing Dalkeith, before terminating at Millerhill Junction on the A720.[8] Until September 2008, the A68 passed through Dalkeith; the opening of a bypass removed large volumes of traffic from the town centre and led to a reduction in accidents.[9] Most of the Scottish section, which is a trunk road,[10] is managed by BEAR Scotland.[11] In August 2020 part of the road near Fala collapsed after heavy rain.[12] It reopened the following month.[13][14] The A68 was the 20th most dangerous UK road in 2017.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Priestley, Catherine (26 June 2021). "MPs lobby roads minister for upgrades and bypasses for 'rust belt' A68". The Northern Echo.
  2. ^ Edgar, Bill (21 January 2022). "Public consultation on major redesign in Darlington which could see home demolished". The Northern Echo.
  3. ^ "A1(M) J58 Copshaw Hill Interchange". roads.org. Retrieved 29 September 2022.
  4. ^ "A68 Tow Law - Durham County Council". www.durham.gov.uk.
  5. ^ "New £3m road link opens at Styford". Hexham Courant. 12 October 1979. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Library". archaeologydataservice.ac.uk.
  7. ^ McGuinness, Tim (9 January 2021). "14 great views of Northumberland you can see from the A68". ChronicleLive.
  8. ^ "A720 Millerhill Junction". roads.org. Retrieved 29 September 2022.
  9. ^ Transport Scotland. "3YA Evaluation Report for A68(T) Dalkeith Bypass" (PDF). p. 43.
  10. ^ Transport Scotland. "Trunk roads" (PDF).
  11. ^ Scottish Borders Council. "Trunk roads". www.scotborders.gov.uk.
  12. ^ "'Technical challenges' face A68 landslide road repair". BBC News. 17 August 2020.
  13. ^ Ritchie, Cameron (7 September 2020). "A68 reopens after entire section of carriageway rebuilt following storm damage". East Lothian Courier.
  14. ^ Rinaldi, Giancarlo (8 September 2020). "A68 at Fala: The collapsed road rebuilt in under a month". BBC News.
  15. ^ "Revealed: The most dangerous roads in Scotland and the UK". The Scotsman. 1 February 2018.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°17′34″N 2°18′41″W / 55.29268°N 2.31144°W / 55.29268; -2.31144