Parking fears over Sunderland College’s new city centre site

Councillor Peter Wood with the new trees on St Mary's Way.
Councillor Peter Wood with the new trees on St Mary's Way.
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SUNDERLAND College’s new city centre campus could cause parking chaos, a councillor has warned.

St Michael’s ward member, Coun Peter Wood, says the plans do not contain enough off-road parking.

Artists impression of new Sunderland College campus.

Artists impression of new Sunderland College campus.

“The development of the college is welcome and, hopefully, its students and staff will help to revive the city centre economy,” he said.

“There is, however, one area of concern which does not yet seem to have been resolved – parking.

“There are no plans for any parking on site, and while a good number of staff and students can be expected to use public transport, not all of them will.

“There will be more cars to park in or near to the city centre.

“At the display of plans for the college development, a college representative suggested an approach would be made to the city council for use of the civic centre public car park. That would seem a sensible approach.

“However, there was no mention of this when the planning application was considered, even though I raised the matter at that meeting.

“At full council I asked what plans there were to revamp the civic centre car park, and what discussions there had been with the college.

“The answer suggested there were no plans and no discussions had yet taken place.

“My fear is that without such an agreement – and improvements to the civic centre car park – students and staff will seek to park in city centre streets, which simply cannot take the extra cars.

“Indeed, a residents-only parking scheme is being worked up for the streets around Tunstall Road/Stockton Road, between Tunstall Terrace and the Gorse Road car park.

“This should be in place before the college building is complete – and needs to be.

“It is important additional parking is provided for staff and students at the college – which is not in residential streets.”

Karen Wade, college director of facilities said: “Throughout this project we have been working in partnership with the city council and we will continue to do so as the development takes shape.

“We have already met with them and are working to develop a transport strategy which will also focus on sustainable transport.

“Work will continue on this in the coming months.”