Monkwearmouth one-way system could be scrapped as part of £4m scheme for Sunderland

Wearmouth bridge taken by Colin Metcalf
Wearmouth bridge taken by Colin Metcalf
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PLANS to scrap the Monkwearmouth one-way system will go before councillors next week.

The council’s cabinet will meet next Wednesday to discuss a budget for 2015/16 and set a council tax level.

Among the proposals under consideration is the first stage of a £4million scheme to return North Bridge Street and Dame Dorothy Street to two-way traffic.

At present, traffic travelling into the city centre must turn left at the Wheatsheaf and use Roker Avenue, Church Street and Dame Dorothy Street to reach Wearmouth Bridge, while traffic heading north across the bridge for the university or Roker must travel up North Bridge Street and use Roker Avenue and Church Street.

The cabinet report outlines a ‘gateway scheme to introduce two way traffic on North Bridge Street and Dame Dorothy Street to ease the flow of traffic coming into the city centre across Wearmouth Bridge and cut travel times, thereby assisting businesses, consumers and visitors to the city.’

Other new capital spending is earmarked for the railway station’s street scene as part of its redevelopment, improvements in Glebe, Washington; further seafront, pier and lighthouse works; and a new fleet of recycling vehicles.

The council has cut more than £170million of spending in the last five years and has warned that-line services will be cut in the next year as it looks to save another £36million.

Cabinet secretary Coun Mel Speding, the City Council’s Cabinet Secretary, said: “Since 2010 the council has invested more than £350million in priorities such as economic regeneration, education & skills and health and wellbeing.

“This included investing in city centre improvement works, the seafront, a new leisure centre in Washington, and significant infrastructure works to support economic development.

“We are continuing this investment yet because of the cuts to grant funding this council is again facing harsh and extremely difficult decisions on budgets.

“The council is looking at new and alternative ways of delivering services but with a fifth year of Government grant reductions cuts to front-line services are unavoidable.

“Despite cuts we must continue to invest in our infrastructure. By investing in our schools, our roads and transport, and improving the look and feel of our city we can help generate more wealth and attract more jobs.

“We have to continue the work of regenerating and investing in our city so we become more prosperous.”

*The cabinet will meet in committee room one at Sunderland Civic Centre from 2pm next Wednesday.