Newcastle upon Tyne that renowned county town of Northumberland, a city port having heavy industries including shipbuilding.

In the early 1960's proposals were put forward by the City's Chief Planning Officer, for a system of motorways in central Newcastle and crossing the River Tyne to Gateshead. The motorway network ringed the central business district and included a link through the central area.

A start was made on the Newcastle Central Motorway East in 1972 as a trial Urban Motorway running from the north side of the central area eastwards to Tyne Bridge. This motorway was opened to traffic in 1975 and became part of the Great North Road, A167(M).

A downturn in the economy and policy changes in favour of public transport resulted in the plans for the completion of the system being abandoned until the late 1980's.