Haverton Hill, Billingham

OS 1937-61
Modern Map
Date opened/built:

Sometime between 1936 and 1956, but probably 1930s.


1.4 miles (2.2kms).


9-ft (2.74m).

Adjoining footway:


Road type:

Urban dual carriageway.


Mix of modern asphalt and period asphalt, including red asphalt, now much degraded. Also some concrete to one side.

Both sides of road:


Adjacent to social housing:

Not adjacent, but close and linked.

Period mapping:

OS 25 inch revised 1939, published 1947. https://maps.nls.uk/view/120938943 OS 1:10,000 surveyed/revised 1950 to 1951, published 1954 https://maps.nls.uk/view/188154366 also has Billingham Station bypass road. No cycle tracks shown on either map. Larger scale maps may show existence of tracks.

OpenCycleMap status:

https://www.opencyclemap.org/?zoom=15&lat=54.58272&lon=-1.27104&layers=B0000 Cycleways marked on both sides of road, no footways marked


Period maps, newspaper reports, period film.

Haverton Hill’s cycle tracks look period but evidence has yet to be found to confirm this identification.

Haverton Hill Road, Billingham, was built in 1905 as an access road between Stockton and Billingham and to service the growing industries in the area, including shipbuilding at the Furness Yard at Haverton Hill, and the burgeoning chemicals industry expanded in the 1920s by the Brunner Mond company which, in 1926, amalgamated with three other companies to form Imperial Chemical Industries, or ICI.

Corporate and municipal housing estates sprang up either end of the road with links to estates to the north of the road and to the southwest via A19 (“Fleet Bridge Road”) and then to Wolviston Road (“Billingham Station bypass road”), see WOLVISTON ROAD, BILLINGHAM.

The Haverton Hill estate was built by the Furness Company to provide housing for their shipyard workers. Other housing was provided mainly to house chemical plant workers. Prevailing westerly winds made life miserable on the Haverton Hill estate with the development demolished in the 1970s.

Cyclists still use Haverton Hill’s cycle tracks.

Haverton Hill Road bisected the ICI Billingham plant, and from the 1930s through to the 1960s, the road was awash with cyclists at 7am before clocking on time and at 4pm when workers left for the day. There are no cycle tracks visible at the plant’s East Gate entrance in a 1949 road safety film produced by ICI Billingham Film Unit nevertheless the film shows large numbers of workers leaving work on bicycles; there are also a great many buses.

A video of a commuter journey by car from 1965 shows the Haverton Hill cycle track.

Despite finding no documentary evidence for the building of cycle tracks on Haverton Hill Road they look almost identical to 1930s-era cycle tracks elsewhere in the country. Here, for instance, the cycle track and footway are separated by a grass verge, typical for the period: https://goo.gl/maps/FVm7uTCNz4vMeRe87 Significantly, they also link to known period cycle tracks on Bypass Road and Wolviston Road. The tracks also feature 1930s-style entrances, such as here: https://goo.gl/maps/FPrvzkYNMDgj1pom9

Newport Bridge, opened in 1934, with view over to Haverton Hill.

There is no record of cycle tracks on the approach to Newport Bridge, opened in 1934, or on Portrack Road, opened in 1934, but, again, their existence is likely. There are modern-looking cycleways on the A1032 road from Newport Bridge to Haverton Hill Road and these could be in the same place as period cycle tracks.

Haverton Hill’s cycle tracks bear many of period hallmarks, such as width, straightness, placement next to a footway, and proximity to a utilitarian road.


Haverton Hill Road, Billingham ... Haverton Hill Road’s opening ceremony was held on 15 October 1905.

There are no cycle tracks ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd4-QGTJHKY&ab_channel=TransfilmUK

There is no record of cycle tracks ... “STOCKTON’S new road scheme from the town, along Church-row, Paradise-row, Maritime-street, across the L. and N.E.R., and through Portrack to a point on the Haverton Hill road near the new road leading to the Tees (Newport) Bridge, will be one of the biggest schemes the Corporation has entered upon for some years. The road will for the most part be an old road widened from about 20 and 30 feet to 60 feet. It is exposited that the pick and shovel will be on the site early in December, and it is roughly estimated that the scheme will take two and a half years to complete. It will provide much work for the unemployed. With the opening of the Tees (Newport) Bridge this proposed road has become of increasing importance to Stockton, as it will furnish a direct and unrestricted run into the centre of the town.” Daily Gazette, 17 August 1934.

There are modern-looking ... https://goo.gl/maps/6aGbtBAJCLjD2Ryk7

Explore the tracks