The Great North Road was the original stage coach route from London to Edinburgh via York, beloved by Dick Turpin and his highwayman colleagues. This is the bit that goes through Gosforth in Newcastle (which is a bit far north for Dick Turpin, but I’m sure he had friends up north…!)
In 1921, the Ministry of Transport designated the Great North Road as the A1. The bit of the Great North Road shown above remained part of the A1 until 1988, when the Western Bypass was built. Of course, these days the A1 is but a small part of the E15 which runs all the way from Inverness in Scotland to Algeciras, right at the bottom of Spain. Even Black Bess would struggle with a ride that long!