£750,000 to cure major road chaos

MAJOR traffic bottlenecks plaguing Sunderland drivers are set to be solved thanks to new £750,000 plans.

A stretch of Chester Road, leading from the city centre has been dogged by delays and traffic problems for years.

Now, as part of proposals to reduce delays, speed up journey times and ease general traffic congestion, busy city routes are set to get a revamp.

Sunderland Council has been given 735,000 from transport authority Nexus to improve traffic flow on the route. And there are similar plans for Ryhope Road and Stockton Road.

Improvements to Chester Road include a bus lane running from The Royalty down to the city centre, synchronising traffic lights and changes to the junction at Kayll Road and Ormonde Street.

Council officers will also be looking at possible alterations to waiting and loading restrictions.

Coun Joe Lawson, who oversees transport issues, said the plans would make a big difference to people's quality of life.

"The overall purpose of the improvements is to improve road safety, reduce congestion and improve the environment of both Chester Road and its side streets thereby making them a better place in which to live, shop and conduct business," he said.

He added: "The measures are seen as the first phase of improvements to these two major radial routes.

"I would stress that they are currently at the consultation stage and their details have yet to be agreed and approved by the council."

Coun Lee Martin, leader of Sunderland's Conservative Group, said he welcomed the measures.

He added: "We think that the proposals are good news for local residents, shoppers, hospital workers and visitors, pedestrians, bus users and motorists.

As well as Chester Road, the stretch of Ryhope and Stockton Road running from Park Road to the north side of Ryhope village is also in for an overhaul.

Coun Lawson said this could include revised waiting restrictions in Grangetown following the opening of the Southern Radial Route.