North East - A194
Road: A194 - Where: A1 to South Shields route
Why do it?
Historic South Shields is well worth a visit and the A194 takes you to its centre via a set of dual carriageways. After it narrows down to a single carriageway, and then arrives at the town centre, riders can enjoy stunning views over the mouth of the River Tyne.
Where does it go?
When the A1 starts to sweep left at Washington towards Gateshead and the Angel of the North, bear right and take the A194 right towards South Shields. Follow it as the dual carriageway races over the River Don, past Follingsby then straight over the roundabout onto Leam Lane past Fellgate, Hedworth, Monkton and then, after two more roundabouts, on to the Newcastle Road and soon South Shields.
What to watch out for?
- There is an accident of some sort every week on the A194, statistics show, which for such a short stretch of road is worryingly high. So, while enjoying the ride, drive safe.
- The Newcastle Road section of the A194 is where you’ll need to be most careful. Although it’s a dual carriageway with good visibility created by a wide grass and occasionally wooded central reservation, in many places there is residential parking at the side of the road from which cars can pull out straight on to the carriageway.
- Going east, as you come to the Mitsubishi car showroom roundabout, the carriage separates into two lanes unusually splits out by a bollard and pedestrian island, a feature which is repeated at the next roundabout.
Top tip: “On busy roads like this it’s all about space management for your bike, and most importantly about observation, anticipation and planning. Look down the road and give yourself time to react and think ahead accordingly”, says IAM RoadSmart’s Shaun Cronin.
The Swinton View on Riding the A194
Although motorcyclists make up just one per cent of road traffic, they account for nearly one in every five road-user deaths. Because you’re more vulnerable on the road riding a motorbike, it’s hugely important you take every precaution to stay safe.
Wear the right safety gear, know your route, plan for the weather, and give yourself plenty of time to finish your ride without rushing. It’s also vital that you’re fully insured and that your motorbike insurance policy covers everything you need it to. Enjoy the ride!