Sunderland’s £45million road to riches

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THE vision of a continuous dual carriageway linking land at Nissan to the Port of Sunderland has reached its crucial third stage as £45million has been allocated towards its creation.

Phase 3 of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC) comprises the part of road linking the south end of the proposed new Wear bridge with St Michael’s Way.

The project, which is said to open up development opportunities in Pallion, Deptford and Farringdon Row, will now move forward after Sunderland City Council’s cabinet rubber-stamped a report, recommending that the design and development of the project take place.

Eventually, the full route will provide a crucial link from the planned advanced manufacturing park north of Nissan, to the port.

The council will now push forward with obtaining the necessary statutory approvals, and arrange to carry out the design, development, research and budgeting activities. By agreeing the report, the funding for the scheme – £40.5million of which comes from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Strategic Economic Plan and Local Growth Deal allocation with the rest from the council – will be included within the council’s capital programme.

North East LEP chief operating officer Helen Golightly said: “Having the right infrastructure is critical to growing our economy and vital in attracting investment and creating more and better jobs. The scheme is one of the key transport components of the Strategic Economic Plan and will play an important role in regeneration of Sunderland City Centre.”

The third phase follows Phase 1 – which is the realignment of St Mary’s Way, and Phase 2 – which is the new Wear crossing itself.

Two stages remain in the development for the SSTC. Phase 4 sees work on Wessington Way, between the A19 and north end of the new bridge, followed by the last stage – Phase 5 – which covers Bridge Street to the Commercial Road roundabout and access improvements to the port.

Pallion ward councillor Celia Gofton told the cabinet meeting: “I very much welcome this for the city. It leads to very important development but it also benefits my ward, so on behalf of ward colleagues I think we will see a big improvement to that end of Pallion. It’s been a long time coming since the closure of the ship yards etc and we’ve had some development, but this will make sense and I very much welcome it.”