Work complete on improvements at A690 accident blackspot

New look to A690 Stoneygate Junction with, from left, Sunderland City Council Copt Hill ward councillors Kevin Johnston, Mary Turton and Portfolio Holder for City Services, Councillor Michael Mordey.
New look to A690 Stoneygate Junction with, from left, Sunderland City Council Copt Hill ward councillors Kevin Johnston, Mary Turton and Portfolio Holder for City Services, Councillor Michael Mordey.
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Work to help improve safety at a notorious accident blackspot is now complete.

The notorious A690 Stoneygate Junction has been the site of strings of accidents over several years, with regular calls for action to make changes.

More than 30,000 vehicles pass the junction every day on the busy commuter route between Sunderland and Durham, with the route also connecting the cities and the A19 with the new Rainton Bridge Business Park.

Work started to make improvements on August 1, with Sunderland City Council acknowleding there was "a history of collisions at the junction with many happening when drivers take right-hand turns across the A690 dual-carriageway."

The safety improvement project has blocked right turns out of the Newbottle and Warden Law side roads to help minimise the risk of further collisions.

The council held a major public engagement exercise last year with a proposal to fully close the junction and its central reserve. This did not receive support from the wider public and other stakeholders but there was backing for action to improve safety.

Taking these views into account, the council designed the junction's new look.

Councillor Michael Mordey, cabinet member for City Services, said: "Sadly, as we all know, there have been far too many collisions at this junctions and there were a lot of concerns over its safety.

"The council listened closely to what people thought and examined all the comments that were made.

"The new design is to help reduce the risk of collisions and make the junction safer.

"Right turn manoeuvres from the side roads across the dual carriageway are now no longer possible. As with all the city's highways, the council will continue to monitor the junction."

There is a 50mph speed limit on this section of the A690 and the council last year also completed works at the junction to improve sight-lines.

The works have been welcomed by the City Council's Coalfield Area Committee. The Coalfield area is one of the city's five administrative areas along with East, North, Washington and West.

Its chairwoman, Councillor Anne Lawson, who also represents the Shiney Row ward, said: "The committee welcomed how the council had been asking the public for their views, it welcomed the design, and now we can all welcome news that the work is completed."

Copt Hill councillors Mary Turton and Kevin Johnston, who sit on the Coalfield Committee, joined Coun Mordey to inspect the works and help remove its traffic management scheme on Wednesday 7 September.

They both welcomed the improvements and how they have kept access from the A690 into Newbottle for residents, businesses and emergency services.

Coun Turton said: "There have been safety worries for many years about this junction. The new junction is helping address those worries and keeping access, such as for emergency vehicles."

Coun Johnston added: "As a resident, motorist, local worker and a councillor, there have been safety fears about this part of the A690 for a long time. The new scheme helps safety and allows access for local residents, business and the emergency services."