Time is running out to have your say on proposed changes to one of Sunderland's busiest routes.
Plans for Monkwearmouth include introducing two-way traffic for all drivers approaching Wearmouth Bridge from the north and a two-way system for Dame Dorothy Street, with a new junction for access from, and into North Bridge Street.
Work could begin next year and would be completed before the Tall Ships race arrives on the wear in 2018. The city council has already identified a budget of £4million for the project.
Public consultation is under way and comments can be made by feedback forms. Plans are also on show at locations across the city and at www.sunderland.gov.uk/northbridgestreet
Comments should be received by 5pm next Monday, January 25.
Coun Michael Mordey, the City Council's Portfolio Holder for City Services, said: "The city council is very much committed to further improving our city's road and wider transport network.
"Work on our new bridge is under way and we have further plans for the continuous dual carriageway from the A19 into the city centre. As well as improving journey times and our built environment, work on our infrastructure helps attract more private sector investment.
"We now want to hear what everyone thinks of these plans for North Bridge Street. There are online forms, or you can see more at the public displays.
"The proposals are about more a direct route into and out of the city centre."
The proposals include:
* Two-way traffic to all vehicles on North Bridge Street (three lanes northbound, two lanes southbound)
* Two- way traffic to all vehicles on Dame Dorothy Street
* New signalised junction where Church Street North and Dame Dorothy Street meet
* Improved access from Dundas Street onto North Bridge Street allowing left and right turns to all vehicles
* New access into Howick Park from Dame Dorothy Street, replacing the current exit
* Improvements to the layout of the Wheatsheaf junction
* Removal of exit from Sheepfolds North onto North Bridge Street
* Closure of subways under North Bridge Street and Dame Dorothy Street
* Potential a new bus layby on Southwick Road westbound.
Council chiefs say benefits would include:
* a more direct route to the city centre;
* reduction of more than 60 per cent in travelling distance from the Wheatsheaf Junction to Wearmouth Bridge;
* reduction of more than 40 per cent in travelling distance from the Wearmouth Bridge to A183 towards Roker;
* reduced traffic using Roker Avenue and Church Street North;
* improved traffic flow through traffic signals at the Wheatsheaf Junction;
* minimal impact on public transport journeys;
* improved access for local residents and businesses onto North Bridge Street.
Plans of the scheme are on display at Monkwearmouth Station Museum, Sunderland City Council Customer Service Centre on Fawcett Street and Bede’s Bakehouse at St Peter’s Church, where there are dedicated boxes for returning comment forms.
The plans can also be seen at Tesco Extra on Roker Retail Park but there is no box to return forms.