‘Idiot’ drivers risking disaster at Sunderland roadworks

‘Idiots’ are endangering themselves and others by flouting a one-way traffic system in Sunderland, a senior councillor has warned.

Coun Michael Mordey condemned motorists who are driving the wrong way down European Way at Pallion.

Stephen McCaffrey Project Director of the new bridge and Coun.Michael Mordey at the junction at Pallion Retail Park, Sunderland, where drivers are ignoring traffic signs and lights.

Stephen McCaffrey Project Director of the new bridge and Coun.Michael Mordey at the junction at Pallion Retail Park, Sunderland, where drivers are ignoring traffic signs and lights.

The road is open westbound, but closed to traffic travelling eastwards towards the city centre and Queen Alexandra Bridge while work on the New Wear Crossing continues.

But workers at the site have reported seeing drivers ignoring the road closure signs and driving the wrong way down the road.

The council has put out extra cones and signs, as well as moving its mobile CCTV camera to the area, and has warned it will have no option but to close the road completely if the behaviour continues.

“Drivers who are ignoring the road closed signs are idiots,” said Coun Mordey, the council’s portfolio holder for city services.

There is no excuse at all for anyone who is endangering themselves and others by ignoring road closure signs.

Coun Michael Mordey

“People who are driving up the road are doing so unaware that there may potentially be people coming down it.

“Really, there is no excuse at all for anyone who is endangering themselves and others by ignoring road closure signs.

“There is no excuse whatsoever.”

Wear Crossing project director Stephen McCaffrey said the roadworks were essential to allow staff to work safely.

“We are in the process of widening the junction. We have taken away the roundabout and we have temporary traffic lights to control the flow of the traffic through the junction,” he said.

Impatient drivers jumping the lights were causing more problems for other motorists, Mr McCaffrey added.

The system automatically turns all lights to red for two minutes for safety reasons if sensors are triggered.

“It is important that everybody using the junction obeys the traffic lights - some people are finding the lights changing within seconds, but we found that is because other people in turn are causing them to turn red,” he said

“There is a safety mechanism on the lights to prevent collisions - people who are jumping the lights are stopping traffic throughout the junction.”