Road to Sunderland will be paved with flowers

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THE road to Sunderland is paved with good intentions – and soon, lots of flowers.

Council bosses are to spend £110,000 improving the look of some of the city centre’s major approach roads.

A meeting of the council’s East Sunderland Area committee approved plans for the East Gateways Programme, which will see improvements to six sites along Doxford Park Way, Ryhope Road, Hylton Road, the A1018 Southern Radial Route and in the city centre.

The Doxford Park Way scheme will see tress and a mix of spring- and summer-flowering bulbs planted on the road’s roundabouts, a move which was welcomed by ward councillor Betty Gibson.

“Residents have been asking for some bulbs to add some colour,” she said.

“I think it is going to enhance the area.”

The programme will see improvements to two areas of Ryhope Road, with a mix of tree and bulb planting along the full stretch and a revamp of the existing flower bed marking the entrance to Barley Mow Park at the junction with Villette Road.

But plans to raise the bed and create a sign with “Hendon” spelt out in flowers were abandoned after concerns over the cost of maintenance. Instead the bed will be planted with taller plants to make it more obvious from the road.

The Hylton Road work will involve improvements to two neighbouring sites around the St Mark’s Nursing Home, with new trees, plants, bins and seats and improvements to the link between the two plots.

The proposal got the thumbs-up from ward councillor Bob Price, who said: “The two areas are very sparse at the minute. Once they have been redeveloped, I think they will look wonderful.”

Residents will be asked for their thoughts on improvements to the Southern Radial Route.]

The committee approved plans to install hard standing for maintenance vehicles on the roundabouts, to reduce the need for road closures, and that charity Groundwork North East should look for external funding for the development of an art feature.

The city centre section of the project will see new bulbs planted in three beds at the end of Alice Street and Argyle Street, off Ryhope Road near Park Lane. Shrubs have been removed from the beds after trapped litter attracted vermin and they are currently just grassed over.

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