CARS for sale are causing a menace beside a busy road.
Residents and businesses have complained about increasing numbers of vehicles parked outside shops at The Broadway, Chester Road.
They have homemade “for sale” signs in the windows, and are causing problems for deliveries and customers.
It means drivers are forced to park elsewhere, such as on pavements and blocking the drives of neighbouring streets.
The unofficial car forecourt is just yards from a pedestrian crossing, where 12-year-old Steven Atkinson, from Ford Estate, was killed by a speeding motorist in 2009.
“It’s like a garage forecourt out there,” said Margaret Mather, of nearby Glenleigh Drive, which has suffered the knock-on effect of shoppers parking outside homes.
“Sometimes the traffic is horrendous round here.
“These cars are taking up spaces for shoppers and delivery drivers. Some are now parking in front of people’s drives.”
One firm, which asked not to be named, described the issue as “a pain in the neck,” adding that if people want to go into business they should pay rates like any other.
There were three cars for sale parked directly outside Mills newsagents last week. But the problem is understood to be ongoing and involving a number of different vehicles and owners.
The Echo rang one of the numbers, which advertised a Vauxhall Vectra and a Toyota Estima Lucida.
“Are you having a laugh?” said the man who answered, and declined to give his name.
“I’m not the only person doing it, and I’m not doing anything illegal. I don’t care what people are saying.
“It’s nothing to do with you, and it’s nothing to do with them either.”
St Anne’s ward Councillor Sylvia Old said no one had brought it to her attention, but she would now investigate the issue.
Northumbria Police also said it would look into the problem.
Sergeant Jamie Bell, from Motor Patrols, said: “It is an offence to cause a complete obstruction to a road or pavement.
“Officers will visit this location to assess whether any offences are being committed, which will be dealt with appropriately.”
Norma Johnston, assistant head of streetscene public protection and regulatory services at Sunderland City Council, said: “If people or businesses have issues or concerns of this nature, they can contact us on 520 5503 and we will investigate and take action, with partners, where appropriate.
“Officers visited the site recently and no cars as reported ‘for sale’ were evident, however we will continue to monitor the area and take action where necessary.”