Police are advising motorists heading south this afternoon to avoid the A1 after two multi-vehicle crashes have caused traffic chaos.
The A1 northbound was shut following a pile-up near to the Team Valley at around 12.35pm.
That side of the road has since been reopened but a second crash, blocking the southbound carriageway near to the Angel of the North and involving half-a-dozen vehicles, has caused further disruption.
There are no reports of any serious injuries in either accident and all those involved have been removed from their vehicles.
Although the northbound carriageway is moving again, it is blocked southbound and there is heavy congestion, leading to considerable delays.
A police spokesman said: "If you can avoid using the A1 this afternoon then you are advised to find an alternative route. Our officers are working hard to clear up our region's roads and get people moving again but please remain patient."