A1231 New Wear Crossing

Scheme outline

The New Wear Crossing forms the centrepiece of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor - a 15 year plan to improve links from the city centre and the Port of Sunderland to the A19 and A1, and thus aid in regeneration. By providing a third bridge over the River Wear, the scheme aims to reduce congestion on the two existing bridges (Wearmouth and Queen Alexandra) and the surrounding road network, as well as improving access to development sites.

This scheme involves the construction of a landmark bridge across the River Wear, linking the A1231 Wessington Way on the north side to the B1405 European Way/Pallion New Road on the south side, together with associated link roads. The new bridge will be the tallest in England, with two curving masts up to 187m in height. The new road across the bridge will be dual carriageway and will eventually form part of the A1231.

Subsequent schemes will deal with the upgrade of the existing local road network to provide a continuous dual carriageway from the A19 to the Port of Sunderland.

This scheme was completed in and we're no longer accepting updates or changes to this page.

Bypass or realignment
for use by all traffic
Highway authority
DfT/ONE North East/Sunderland CC


31 October 2015

The contract for construction has very recently been let and work is expected to begin on-site in the next two or three months.

29 February 2016

Approach roads on both sides underway with the permanent closure of Timber Beech Road. Bridge span work underway.

2 February 2018

The New Wear Crossing has a name, thanks to a public consultation and is called Northern Spire. The bridge itself is in place.

3 September 2018

The Northern Spire opened on August 29, 2018. It has been numbered A1231, which is the main route into Sunderland from the A19.

More information


With thanks to Ryan, Chris Williams and Michael Pritchard for information on this page.