Linda Colling: Worked up by roadworks

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ANOTHER U-turn to put the right turn back into Ormonde Street. Another cock-up just like the Toll Bar which made a bad junction worse.

Now another controversial and key crossroads is to be changed – this time back to how it was.

What a waste of money. The full cost for the Chester Road improvements was £750,000 with the work funded by a grant from Nexus – so still public money.

We all knew it was never going to work and for two years since Sunderland City Council decided to stop people from turning right from Chester Road, we’ve had tail backs and drivers, turning into the ABC streets to get to Durham Road, creating a rat run in these narrow streets, already clogged with hospital and visitors parking.

Local residents are delighted with this U-turn. Pity they weren’t listened to in the beginning, when a 370-signature petition was presented opposing the change.

Who makes these decisions when Joe public can see that they’re doomed to failure and will only make matters worse?

How is it that highly-paid consultants and chief officers can’t see that too?

Time and again decisions are made by those who do not live in this city.

They don’t have to live with their mistakes like those of us who live and work here.

It’s appalling that when this city can least afford to waste money – thousands of pounds are thrown at badly-designed traffic schemes.

It’s taken all this time to admit prohibiting the right turn into Ormonde Street was not working.

Initially it was promised that the decision would be reviewed after six months.

Why, when it was plain to see what all its opponents had feared was happening?

This council doesn’t seem to be very good at any of these big traffic schemes.

If only they had listened in the beginning they could have avoided all the costs and all this hassle.

It’s two years this month since remedial work, lasting for weeks, started at the Toll Bar after new crossroads there made a bad junction worse.

So much so it even had its own internet group, We Hate The Toll Bar Traffic Lights.

Back to Chester Road, Lee Martin, Tory councillor for Barnes, isn’t scoring points, but simply stating a fact when he told me: “Everyone told them it was going to be a nightmare.

“Anyone can see it isn’t working and they have realised they have to do something about it.”

When the plan was initially announced it was meant to be part of a wider plan to improve the flow of traffic into the city centre along the often congested route.

The full scheme on the stretch of Chester Road, from the Crematorium to the town, included the upgrading of Eldon Street Zebra and Stewart Street Pelican to Puffins; improvements to Kayll Road traffic signals and the signalisation of the hospital access; the introduction of bus stop clearways throughout and loading and waiting restrictions on Chester Road

It’s now three years since Tory councillors Michael Arnott, Tony Morrissey and Lee Martin asked the council to address traffic flow at the roundabout at the junction of The Broadway and Springwell Road – a major cause of congestion especially at peak times.

We can only live in hope that when they do, they get it right here, which is another danger and an area where changes are long overdue.