More parking - and traffic restrictions - planned for Sunderland seafront to improve safety as development continues at Marine Walk

Extra parking spaces and new traffic restrictions could be introduced at Marine Walk following a push from councillors to improve road safety.

Friday, 16th August 2019, 11:45 am
Artist's impression of Phase 2 Pier Point, Sunderland. Picture: Fitz Architects

In June, plans for a new seafront restaurant/cafe development were discussed by Sunderland City Council.

The proposals- forming part of the ‘Pier Point Phase 2’ project- involved extending a previously approved scheme back into the embankment.

As previously reported, the refreshed application followed interest from prospective tenants looking for a larger space.

Although customer parking was provided, councillors on the council’s Planning and Highways Committee voted to stall the plans.

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Concerns included Marine Walk being a “crunch point” for traffic with potential conflict between pedestrians and vehicles.

The council’s Planning and Highways Committee heard an update on a raft of proposed road safety improvements.

The changes were drafted following a meeting with the council’s North Sunderland Area Committee.

Although many are subject to consultation with the public and businesses, they aim to tackle traffic issues in the area.

Marine Walk proposals include:

Completion of road narrowing to the front of the southern garage block. Consultation for a traffic regulation order to stop waiting and loading between 10.30am-8pm (applying to the unadopted section of road to the north of the roundabout up to the Grannie Annie’s Pub & Pantry) Four permit holder bays adjacent to the roundabout, to remove the need for car access to the above location. Proposals to increase the number of pay and display parking spaces at Marine Walk (South) car park.

A planning report, prepared for councillors, states Marine Walk is “designed with the intention of keeping vehicle speeds low and to not exceed 20mph”.

It adds that no records of road traffic accidents with personal injury exist at Marine Walk.

Despite the proposed road safety improvements, a decision on the cafe/ restaurant development is still no further forward.

Councillors were told the meeting had to be deferred again due to late information being submitted and ongoing discussions between the applicant BBL NE Ltd and planners.

A report added the proposed road safety changes are not directly linked to the planning decision as they are “outside the control and remit of the applicant.”

The restaurant/ cafe plans are expected to return to the committee later this year for final decision.