Death-road speed limit could be cut

Washington Road, Town End Farm, Sunderland, where councillors are considering lowering the speed limit.
Washington Road, Town End Farm, Sunderland, where councillors are considering lowering the speed limit.
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TRAFFIC chiefs are set to slash speed limits on a stretch of road which claimed the life of an 11-year-old girl.

Katelyn Weldon, a pupil at Bexhill Primary School, died after a collision between her bike and a car on Washington Road at the junction with Blackwood Road, near her home in Town End Farm.

Copy pic of Katelyn Weldon killed in a rta Saturday 13th March 2010, Washington Road junction with Blackwood Road, Town End Farm.

Copy pic of Katelyn Weldon killed in a rta Saturday 13th March 2010, Washington Road junction with Blackwood Road, Town End Farm.

Her death sparked an outcry over road safety, with 2,500 people signing a petition calling for action.

Now Sunderland City Council is consulting with pedestrians and motorists on proposals to drop the speed restrictions from the national speed limit to 30mph on the busy stretch of road.

James Blackburn, the senior councillor responsible for highways, said: “There are a lot of changes going on in the area this stretch of road goes through, and we want to ask people in the community what they think the speed limits should be.

“Details of our proposals are contained in letters going out to residents, and will be on public display at the Bunny Hill Customer Service Centre and we welcome everyone’s views.”

Residents have also been concerned about the traffic impact of the proposed new food store and retail development in North Hylton Road, and the council says it is responding to this.

The plan is to introduce a 30mph speed limit in Washington Road from about 50m of its junction with Ferryboat Lane to about 50m east of its junction with Craigavon Road.

It would also extend the existing 30mph speed limit on North Hylton Road from Yewtree Avenue west to the western boundary of Hylton Red House Primary School.

Coun Blackburn said the proposals had been put forward to cope with changes to environment and traffic management in the area.

These include new traffic lights at Blackwood Road and developments taking place in the area.

Consultation letters sent to residents will include a questionnaire. A public exhibition will be on show at the Bunny Hill centre.

Deputy council leader Harry Trueman said: “Public consultation and responding to what our residents want is key to how we deliver better services, and we hope that anyone who will be affected by these changes will let us know their views so we can make the right decisions.”

The deadline for people to respond to the consultation is Friday, July 22.

Wearsiders can also view the suggestions and share their ideas online at www.sunderland.gov.uk/consultation.

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