Leader of the city’s Conservative party Coun Peter Wood hit out after seeing the escalators at the city centre facility out of action for the second time in a number of weeks.
Those running Nexus, which operates the Tyne and Metro, say that the company which installed the escalator in December 2008 went into administration shortly after, meaning a contractor has to be hired to fix it each time.
The organisation today apologised for the problems.
See 11 fantastic pictures from the Seaham Food Festival as thousands of foodies head to the coast
Family of Archie Battersbee vow to call for ‘change’ after his death
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service praises 'incredible response' of crews 'working through the night' at barn blaze
Thousands of foodies hit the coast for Seaham Food Festival featuring Masterchef star Pookie Tredell and Sunderland's Life Kitchen founder Ryan Riley
Bus chief denies ‘slice and dice’ of North East travel routes following cuts
Coun Wood told the Echo: “I think it’s very embarrassing.
“This escalator must be the most unreliable one on the transport network.
“There doesn’t seem to be any problems with the one at Park Lane Metro or Newcastle stations so I don’t see why there is at Sunderland station.”
Coun Wood added that he is concerned about the impact the fault could have on tourism.
“It’s not great for the weary traveller just arriving in Sunderland,” he said.
“People with luggage can use the lift but if you want to get about quickly you need the escalator.
“It’s all very frustrating for the travelling public and doesn’t give a good impression to visitors.”
The escalator was installed in 2008 in the first phase of the £6.9million redevelopment of the stations.
Shortly after the escalator was installed however, the principal contractor went into administration so Nexus had to deal directly with the manufacturers when faults arose.
When the escalator gets a fault the organisation has use a contractor to carry out the repair works.
A Nexus spokesman said: “We are sorry that the escalator has broken down a couple of times recently, which has been inconvenience to station users.
“When problems do occur we work as fast as we can to get them resolved.
“We have a contractor who carries out the work on the escalator as they have the expertise for this particular make and model.”