COUNCIL bosses say full-time traffic lights on the roundabout from the A19 to Peterlee and Shotton are “the only safe option”.
An online petition with 100 signatures has urged Durham County Council to make the lights part-time.
It claimes the lights “are of no use whatsoever” after 7pm, and other similarly busy junctions are part-time.
The council’s strategic traffic manager, Dave Wafer, said: “We have looked at the possibility of part-time signals at the junction. However, with housing and industry nearby, it is important that crossings are provided for pedestrians and cyclists.
“And according to Department for Transport guidance, such crossings should not operate on a part-time basis.
“With part-time signal operation, there is no way to provide safe pedestrian crossing facilities for visually impaired pedestrians, as there is no effective way of indicating in a non-visual way that the signals are not operational.
“Any junction which includes such facilities must therefore be switched on permanently.
“Introducing traffic signals at locations such as this is always a careful balance between managing large volumes of traffic in the peak hours and causing minor delays in the quieter off-peak periods.”