Warning after child almost hit by a car outside Sunderland sports centre

Bosses at a Sunderland leisure centre have urged people to stay clear of a banned area for parking after a youngster was almost knocked down.

Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 1:16 pm

Sunderland Aquatic Centre has issued a notice to customers following the incident outside its entrance, which is covered by double yellow lines.

Steve Dougal, its general manager, shared a photo of a car parked in the spot as he raised concerns.

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Sunderland Aquatic Centre shared this photo as it urged people to not park on the double yellow lines outside its entrance.

He said: “Following a recent near miss between a young child and a car outside the centre can we take this opportunity to remind all customers that they should not be parking on the double yellow lines for any reason.

“The near miss occurred because the child was unsighted when crossing the road due to the cars parked.

"Please do not park in this area for any reason, including pick ups.”

Parents have supported the management in its call after the message was shared on Facebook, with one mum calling the situation “pandemonium” and calling it an “accident waiting to happen” with others pointing out the large car park is a two minute walk away.

Parking in the area – which is all free but restricted on match days – has been a long-running problem around the venue, with visitors also using an area under the neighbouring Stadium of Light, which is not an assigned area for vehicles to park.

Sunderland AFC, which owns the car parks around the stadium, has tried a series of measures in the hope of keeping drivers off the area, including cones and barriers, as well as notices which have been left on windscreens asking people to be considerate.

Everyone Active, which runs the centre on behalf of Sunderland City Council, and the Hilton Garden Hotel, which is also in Stadium Way, and the Foundation of Light’s Beacon of Light team have previously put together advice for motorists parking up in the area.

It asks people to use designated bays, keep off the paved areas around the football ground and bus drop off zone, noted the marked disabled bays are for Blue Badge holders only, and keep in mind the sport centre is used by a large number of children and families and stick to the speed limit for the area.

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