Boy’s death prompts changes to busy Wearside road

Brandon Nugent, 13, who died after he was struck by a car on the A690.
Brandon Nugent, 13, who died after he was struck by a car on the A690.
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ACTION could be taken to improve a busy route into a city centre in the wake of a schoolboy’s death.

Brandon Nugent, a pupil at St Leonard’s School, died after he was hit by a car as he crossed the A690 on the outskirts of Durham in March.

Now highways chiefs are working with the support of the 13-year-old’s family to consult how pedestrian safety can be improved in the area of Kepier Lane, a historic bridle path running through Gilesgate.

Measures could include closing the route completely.

Dave Wafer, Durham County Council’s traffic manger, said: “We know local people in particular use the pathway and it is their views we are very keen to hear.

“We need to know if they want the path to stay, if they think the crossing could be made safer, or if they would be happy for it to close.

“We are also aware that this is a very difficult moment for Brandon’s family, which is why we are only doing this with their knowledge and support.”

Coun Neil Foster, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “We take public safety very seriously, but we are also aware that local people may have their own ideas about the future of this path and its safe use.

“We therefore want to hear those ideas so they can help us to reach the best possible solution.”

The A690 is a major route into Durham, taking vehicles from the A1 and Sunderland side of the A690 with traffic on the dual carriageway travelling at the national speed limit.

The council has carried out surveys and found traffic volume and speed is such that there are key times of the day when it is particularly difficult for people to cross the road.

The four-week consultation will start on Monday.

Comments should be sent to or by post to Access and Rights of Way, Regeneration and Economic Development, Durham County Council, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UQ, by September 2.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham