One of the best reports by Kevin Clark appeared in the Sunderland Echo, October 7, 2006.
The headlines were: Move pre-empts public inquiry decision; Arc advertises for Vaux site developer.
In 2006, the Echo report contained the information that the ARC plans included the first stage of the re-aligning of St Mary’s Way (phase 1 of the Sunderland New Bridge and Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor – SSTC).
The sensible and rational part of the plan was to take the SSTC round the north side of the Vaux site so that it would not be a development in competition with the city centre, but would bring the site closer.
At least three lanes of St Mary’s Way from the Cumberland Street junction had become obsolete with the demise of Vaux brewery.
From 1999, this was the opportunity to expand, not diminish the Vaux site area.
The switch of the re-alignment of SSTC from the cliff edge to its present position has “split the city centre”. The Conservative councillors were also shocked by this alteration to the plans.
The millions of pounds wasted pre-empted the final decision by the Minister of State for the Department of Transport (DfT) which was a substantial part of my emailed objection to the DfT public inquiry on July 11, last year.
The response to my objection? The inquiry was cancelled.
Was the involvement of the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) in the New Wear Bridge and SSTC scheme this year a planning afterthought?
The worst and latest consequence of the SSTC planning is the threat posed by our council’s partnership with Siglion/Igloo/Carrillion.
They have no plans for the only plausible location (the Vaux site) for a much-needed new road bridge to share the volume of traffic increases during the next 100 years.