Sunderland drivers urged to be patient during year of delays

A build-up of traffic in the roadworks on Wessington Way, Sunderland, during yesterday morning's rush-hour.
A build-up of traffic in the roadworks on Wessington Way, Sunderland, during yesterday morning's rush-hour.
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Motorists have taken a philosophical approach to roadworks on one of Sunderland’s busiest routes.

Work on the new Wear Crossing means drivers face delays for the next year, with the A1231 Wessington Way down to one lane eastbound, approaching the Sainsbury’s roundabout.

Parts of the road will be reduced to one lane in both directions, between Queen Alexandra Bridge and the roundabout that connects Wessington Way with Colima Avenue, from the middle of this month.

Other works will also be in place at both ends of the bridge’s route between Wessington Way in Castletown and European Way in Pallion.

City council leader Coun Paul Watson said: “We’re going to be phasing in the work over the next few weeks so drivers will see the changes to the road network as the roadworks begin, and I’d like to urge everyone to drive safely and stick to the reduced speed limits that we’ve put in place at key areas.

“People will see more activity around both the Pallion area near Matalan and also along Wessington Way in Castletown, as the earthworks are undertaken on both sides of the riverbank for the approach roads to the new bridge.

“There will also be a lot of work taking place in the river where we will soon start developing the foundations for the main bridge pylon.

“We do appreciate roadworks are frustrating for drivers, and while this work may cause some delays, the long-term benefits will far outweigh the disruption during the coming months.”

Coun Watson predicted the new bridge would be worth the wait and many drivers commenting on the Echo’s Facebook page agreed with him.

Ian Mullen wrote: “People can’t really complain about this. They can’t put the new bridge up without it affecting the roads around.

“Progress always takes a little bit of chaos.”

Kenny Martin was equally prepared to put up with short-term pain for long-term gain.

“It is a chew on but when the new bridge is up, it will look good,” he said.

Neil Tait said the length of the queues was as much down to bad driving as the roadworks: “Why don’t people use both lanes and merge where the cones are?

“Never see the point of being single file when there’s another lane open. It just makes queues longer,” he said.