Hundreds fight plan for controversial new bus-only road in Sunderland

Councillors Christine Marshall, Colin English and Elizabeth Gibson say they are all opposed to plans for Burdon Road between Doxford Park Way and Tunstall Village Green to be made bus only as part of the  Sunderland Core Strategy and Development Plan. Picture: TOM BANKS
Councillors Christine Marshall, Colin English and Elizabeth Gibson say they are all opposed to plans for Burdon Road between Doxford Park Way and Tunstall Village Green to be made bus only as part of the Sunderland Core Strategy and Development Plan. Picture: TOM BANKS

Angry residents have slammed proposals which could see a new bus lane created in their community.

As part of the Sunderland Core Strategy and Development Plan, which was unveiled earlier this year, is a plan to make Burdon Road between Doxford Park Way and Tunstall Village Green bus only.

Councillors Christine Marshall, Colin English and Elizabeth Gibson say they are all opposed to plans for Burdon Road between Doxford Park Way and Tunstall Village Green to be made bus only as part of the  Sunderland Core Strategy and Development Plan. Picture: TOM BANKS

Councillors Christine Marshall, Colin English and Elizabeth Gibson say they are all opposed to plans for Burdon Road between Doxford Park Way and Tunstall Village Green to be made bus only as part of the Sunderland Core Strategy and Development Plan. Picture: TOM BANKS

Residents are now raising concerns about how the lane would affect access to the Mill Hill, Hall Farm, Thristley Grange, Thristley Wood, Blakeney wood and the Downs areas.

Campaigners argue that the proposal has “negligible benefit” and would cause major inconvenience for Silksworth residents going to Doxford and Doxford residents going to Silksworth and the city centre.

They added that it will have a negative effect on businesses in Silksworth, Doxford and the city centre and will add to the commute time to Doxford International Business Park and car plant Nissan.

More than 830 people signed a petition against the plans.

Council chiefs have said that a “bus gate” in Burdon Road would only be proposed after a Ryhope and Doxford link road was created however.

But Doxford Park’s Labour councillors Christine Marshall, Colin English and Elizabeth Gibson all say they are opposing the bus lane.

Coun Marshall said: “This would be a real inconvenience for a lot of people as they would have to double back on themselves using this road.

“It’s a green idea but it would actually cause more in emissions with the extra driving people would have to do.

“We’ve had a lot of comments from people against the idea and I don’t know of anyone who is in favour of it.

“It really needs to be reconsidered.”

A spokesman for Sunderland City Council said: “As part of the draft Core Strategy and Development Plan, which outlines how the city should grow and develop over the next 16 years, there are proposals for a South Sunderland Growth Area – a new sustainable neighbourhood.

“The Supplementary Planning Document which sets out the approach to delivering this, also identifies how it could possibly accommodate more than 3,000 homes and all the necessary infrastructure, such as schools and roads.

“This growth area is in line with national policies for more house building and local plans for helping to encourage people and families to live in Sunderland, and attracting new households by providing more high value housing and wider choice.

“Part of the area infrastructure planning is a new link road between Ryhope and Doxford.

“A “bus gate” on Burdon Road would only be considered once a Ryhope and Doxford link road is completed and fully opened to traffic.

“It would also require a period of consultation and public support before any introduction.”