Taxpayers’ £42,000 bill over failed traffic calming measures

Cllr James Blackburn.
Cllr James Blackburn.
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COUNCIL chiefs have been forced to redo a traffic calming scheme that cost tens of thousands of pounds to install after motorists ignored it.

A series of roundabouts were recently built on Castle Road, in Oxclose, Washington, to help slow traffic down in the residential area.

But drivers just drove straight over them – which has forced the council to dig up their original work and re-do it.

The total cost of the project in Washington will now come to £42,000 and this has left some residents frustrated with the increase in costs.

Mary Chapman, 68, of Castle Road, said: “No-one round here seems to know why they have been put in.

“I don’t think there have been any problems before. It is worse that they put them in and then had to come back and do it again because they did not do it right the first time.

“The roundabout is still quite low so people can still drive over them.”

Bob Parsons, 71, of Ayton Road, said: “I think the money could have been spent better especially when there is not much money for other things.

“It’s important to get the roads safe but I don’t know if that was the most pressing issue.”

The Echo also received an email from a resident who said that motorists had experienced trouble driving by the original roundabouts as they had caused cars to slide.

Councillor James Blackburn, portfolio holder for city services at Sunderland City Council, said: “Following consultation with residents and ward councillors, three mini-roundabouts have been built as part of an ongoing traffic calming scheme in Castle Road.

“Sadly, too many drivers are not following the Highway Code and they are negotiating the roundabouts at Brancepeth Road and Crighton incorrectly.

“Therefore, their layout will be amended slightly.

“The proposed amendments should remove the temptation to straight line the roundabouts against the oncoming flow of traffic.”

Twitter: @tomwhite7