The proposed upgrade of a 2.5 mile section of the A1 between Birtley (junction 65) and Coal House (junction 67) will provide additional capacity, and improve journey times and safety while supporting economic growth in the region.Extra lanes will be constructed and Allerdene Railway Bridge, which carries the A1 over the East Coast railway line, will also be replaced as part of this major project which is due to start late 2020.The consultation started on 8 February 2018 and will close on Thursday 22 March. Seven public consultation events will take place over two weeks. Information about these events can be found on the consultation page.This is one of 4 major scheme milestones which are taking place in Yorkshire and the North East in the first six months of 2018.The upgrades are funded by the Government’s £15bn investment in motorways and major A roads, and being delivered by Highways England.Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: These upgrades in Yorkshire and the North East, will improve millions of journeys. Each of these milestones in this region is evidence of Highways England delivering major infrastructure upgrades for the whole country. In the six months to June two major schemes in Yorkshire and the North East will be completed: the improvements to the M1 junction 45 roundabout near Leeds and the upgrade of the A1 between Leeming to Barton, will improve journeys for drivers across the region. The preferred option for the improvements of the M621 key junctions in Leeds is also due to be announced.Nationwide, almost 40 projects will hit milestones over the same period, including seven schemes starting construction and four improvements opening to traffic, adding much needed extra capacity to some of the country’s busiest roads and improving journeys for millions of drivers. Others will hit crucial points – including public consultations that will help shape the proposals, and route announcements.April will mark three years since Highways England embarked on delivering the Government’s Road Investment Strategy, the biggest investment in the country’s major roads since the 1970s.The schemes reaching milestones in the first half of this year will join the 18 major projects that have already opened to traffic since April 2015. A further 16 are presently in construction. Those which have already opened in Yorkshire and the North East region include the A160/A180 Port of Immingham improvement and the A1 Coal House to Metro Centre improvement in Gateshead which helped reduce congestion and provide opportunities for development in the region. Three smart motorway schemes on the M1 in west and south Yorkshire are also fully operational.There will be consultation forms and brochures available online and at locations open to the public from 8 February 2018. These can be handed in at the events or sent to the freepost address provided on the form.Further information about the proposals and full details of the consultation brochure deposit locations are available from the scheme webpage.General enquiriesMembers of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.Media enquiriesJournalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.