PLANS for a £500,000 shake-up of Sunderland’s city centre roads have been given the green light by councillors.
The city council’s planning and highways committee approved a plan which will see changes to traffic flow and road layout in Borough Road, Fawcett Street and Toward Road, aimed at boosting the city economy, making the area safer for pedestrians and improving access for buses and delivery vehicles.
Coun Peter Wood, whose St Michael’s ward covers part of the scheme area, said: “I think if we go ahead with this scheme, it will improve traffic flow in that particular part of the city centre.
“There are also some limited proposals to increase parking and I think that, too, would be welcome.”
Sunderland City Centre Traders’ Association has backed the plan: “It is very important we work with city centre businesses to improve the overall condition of trade there,” said Coun Wood.
Chairman Coun Philip Tye agreed: “The city Centre Traders’ Association did make their point clear and quite clearly, the council has listened to the concerns of traders,” he said.
Coun Tye welcomed plans to increase the range of vehicles allowed to use Borough Road to get into the city centre.
“I am pleased to see private hire vehicles being allowed to have access there,” he said.
The plan entails:
•BOROUGH ROAD: Carriageway widening between Fawcett Street and Toward Road, with all vehicles permitted eastbound, and cyclists, buses, taxis and private hire vehicles permitted westbound.
•FAWCETT STREET: Western pavement to be widened, with bus stops and shelters moved to cut pedestrian congestion and improve the environment. Eastern pavement to be narrowed and the carriageway widened. Six new parking places to be created, restricted to disabled drivers from 8am to 6pm, and the existing loading bay to be moved and lengthened. Parking places and loading bay to be open to all from 6pm to 8am.
•TOWARD ROAD: Four on-street metered parking places to be created, costing 50p for 30 minutes Monday-Saturday, 8am-6pm. Former bus stop lay-by modified to create loading bay and three disabled parking places. All parking places to be free from 6pm to midnight.