Plans to shut deadly A690 junction in Sunderland

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PLANS are in place to shut an accident blackspot on one of Sunderland’s busiest junction.

Sunderland City Council has launched a consultation asking all residents and businesses to help improve road safety by ending right-hand turns at a junction of the A690.

It comes after dozens of accidents and years of calls for action at the deadly junction.

Councillor Michael Mordey, the council’s cabinet member for City Services, said: “There have been far too many serious accidents and it is a major road safety concern for many, many people.

“Because of these concerns we have been looking at how to make the junction safer and reduce the number of collisions.”

All road users can give their opinions on the A690/High Lane junction at Stoneygate here.

Consultation letters are also going to more than 1,300 householders and businesses in the Herrington and Newbottle areas.

The staggered cross road junction provides access to Newbottle and surrounding residential areas to the west via High Lane. The road on the south side provides access to Warden Law and Ryhope to the south and east.

There is a history of road traffic accidents at the junction and the council is suggesting all right turning traffic movements should now be stopped.

Despite a 50mph limit and the council recently completing works at the junction to improve sight-lines, the problems of right-turning traffic across one of Sunderland’s busy highways continues.

Between November 2011 and October 2014 there were 11 collisions that caused personal injuries.

Previously, the council has studied several options including a roundabout, traffic signals, closure, or a more simple road marking scheme.

Because of traffic volumes with more than 30,000 vehicles passing through the junction every day, and the possibility of very long tailbacks, it is not practical to introduce traffic signalling. The council had looked at a roundabout previously but was unable to secure access and permissions from land owners.

Councillor Mordey added: “We want to hear what every road user thinks about this idea to close the junction. The collisions occur when drivers make turns out of the side roads and try to join on-coming traffic.

Consultation on the closure option was backed by the City Council’s Highways and Planning Committee on Wednesday 18 February.

Cabinet Secretary Councillor Mel Speding said: “There’s a long history of accidents at this junction and the council has looked at different options. We now need to know what people think about closing off the junction.”