CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after traffic light times on a busy Wearside roundabout were extended.
Residents and councillors have for years been trying to increase the length of time lights operate on the A690/A19 roundabout at Doxford Park.
They argued that the roundabout can be dangerous for motorists because of its five entry routes.
The changes mean that the lights will be on from 6.30am to 8pm, rather than 7.30am to 9.30am and 4pm to 6.30pm.
Both Conservative and Labour councillors have given the changes the thumbs-ups after they said the road was a problem area for drivers.
Conservative party leader Robert Oliver and now former councillor Michael Dixon submitted a petition earlier this year calling for the changes to be made.
About 10 accidents a year are recorded at the roundabout.
Coun Stuart Porthouse, who represents the St Chad’s ward, said: “It’s what we have been asking for for a long time.
“We really appreciate what the road engineers are doing in listening to people.
“They are doing this the Sunderland way, thinking outside the box.”
Conservative Coun Alan Wright said the announcement was the result of years of hard work by those campaigning for the extension.
He said: “We have carried out residents’ surveys and obtained press coverage on the level of accidents when the lights are not in operation.
“Nearby residents have presented us with photographs of the aftermath of many accidents over the years.
“Local resident Ron Martindale contacted ex-councillor Michael Dixon who agreed to submit a petition to full council on residents’ behalf calling for the operation of the lights to be extended to cover most of the day.
“Mr Martindale collected over 1,000 signatures which were presented to the council by Coun Dixon.”
Former Mayor of Sunderland Les Scott, who stood as a councillor in the city from 1979 to 2008, said: “It gives people living on this road an interval to get in out of their homes as well.”
Andrew Jackman, interim assistant head of traffic, road safety and parking services at Sunderland City Council, said: “After an in-depth review of the road traffic accidents at the junction over the last 10 years, we have agreed to increase the hours of operation of the part-time traffic signals at the junction of the A19/A690 to run from 06.30 hours to 20.00 hours on all days.”