Roadworks start on new £234,000 car-detecting traffic lights at busy crossroads

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DRIVERS will face disruption as new car-detecting traffic lights are installed at one of Sunderland’s busiest junctions.

The £234,000 works at The Grange pub on the A1018 Newcastle Road junction with Thompson and Charlton roads in Fulwell is expected to last 16 weeks.

Traffic chiefs at Sunderland City Council say the signals there have reached the end of their design life, and have said the work has been timetabled to minimise disruption.

The new signalling and its sensors will react to fluctuations in traffic flow, aimed at making the junction more efficient.

The highways works around the junction are costed at £160,000 and new signals at £74,000.

Councillor James Blackburn, cabinet member for City Services, said: “The Grange is a very important junction for traffic travelling both through and across the north of the city.

“This is an all-round update from resurfacing to new signalling.

“It’s far more efficient and cost-effective to invest and replace signalling here because as signals age the frequency of repair and replacement works increase.

“Plus, work here will help the traffic flow improvements that have been made to the nearby Wheatsheaf Junction. This is all work as part of the council’s commitment to improving our city’s infrastructure.”

The junction sees more than 24,000 vehicles pass through it on weekdays and the current signal cabling dates back 30 years to 1983.

In addition to works at the Grange and Wheatsheaf, an update of the Bluebell junction in Fulwell is nearing completion. It too is being updated with movement detection sensors that optimise traffic flow.

There are 150 traffic signal installations from junctions to puffin or pelican crossings across Sunderland.