Truckers have been accused of using a field as an “open toilet” while setting up camp in a lay-by of one of Wearside’s busiest roads.
Angry residents say lorry and van drivers parked off the A690 near to Houghton Cut, as well as others off the route, have left behind a trail of rubbish after stopping off at the spot.
But they’ve been using a field as an open toilet at the top of the Cut.Concerned resident
A large number of vehicles have been seen in the area by the Sunderland-bound side of the dual carriageway.
Volunteers who have signed up to the city’s Love Where You Live campaign have helped in the clear-up mission, but residents say something should be done to put a stop to the mess.
A senior councillor acknowledged some drivers were “misusing” the lay-by and said the situation would be closely monitored.
Other lay-bys off Durham Road near Rainton Bridge and the A19 through Sunderland, have also been noted for their use during shift breaks by the drivers.
One man, who did not want to be named, said: “We’ve been litter picking and collected 17 bags filled with rubbish from the fields and that has been reported to the council.
“But it’s like it’s become a big lorry park.
“This issue has been during the last 12 months, but it’s getting worse.
“They leave litter behind. They fill the bins up to the point they can’t fit anything more in.
“But they’ve been using a field as an open toilet at the top of the Cut.
“I’ve seen them set up washing lines from the trees where they’ve bene drying their tea towels and clothing.
“They’ve left beer bottles and barbecues behind.
“If you were driving towards Sunderland, you would think it looked a right state.
“I’ve counted 14 parked up, and sometimes they’ve been three deep and the entrance has been blocked.
“If a member of the public needed to pull up, they couldn’t get in.
“But we don’t want to drive away trade from the area.
“There’s Rainton Bridge and other areas which are expanding and we want to bring business into the area, but we should have a proper lorry park for them and give them the facilities they need.”
Northumbria Police has not received complaints about misuse of the lay-bys.
Sunderland City Councillor Michael Mordey, portfolio holder for city services, said: “This lay-by, as with all others on major roads, is there for a purpose.
“It is for drivers to rest or to stop because of vehicle problems.
“Sadly, some drivers are misusing this and other lay-bys in the city.
“While the city council continues to monitor the situation, we would remind drivers that other overnight facilities are available.”