Sunderland 'race track' among roads highlighted in speeding crackdown debate
Councillors in Sunderland have backed a motion aiming to take action to crackdown on speeding and improve road safety across the city.
An initial motion was put forward by Conservative councillors at Wednesday’s meeting of Sunderland City Council, looking to change the way speeding is dealt with, improving how it is recorded, measured and acted upon.
Cllr Antony Mullen, who proposed the motion, said the “failure to tackle the culture of speeding” early on means it spreads across the city.
It includes changing the way speeding problem areas are identified, improving how the council logs complaints, and prioritising the repainting of faded junction lines over other road markings.
Labour councillors at the meeting put forward an amended motion, which kept the majority of the same points, but added references to the council’s new road safety assessment scheme, approved by cabinet in June.
Cllr Mullen, in raising the initial motion, stressed improvements need to be made in how the council deals with reports of speeding issues.
He noted in his ward, Barnes, Cleveland Road is “often used as a race track” by speeding motorists, with junction lines barely visible and the lack of action meant the problem has spread, with incidents reported in Ettrick Grove.
He said: “What we want to do here is to make clear that we as councillors will not be human shields standing between angry residents, who rightly want something done, and a council that often says nothing can be done.
“Or worse, that there isn’t actually a problem to deal with.”
Labour’s Cllr Claire Rowntree, deputy council leader, who raised the amendment, said she welcomed the proposal to improve council services and lives of people in the city but wanted to make sure it included “recent positive work” in this area.
Councillors from political parties across the chamber spoke on the number of complaints of speeding they receive.
Labour’s Cllr Louise Farthing claimed the pandemic has contributed to the increase in speeding with less traffic on the roads.
Conservative Cllr Pam Mann added Hylton Road and Hylton Bank were some of the areas in her ward which saw speeding issues, particularly at night.
The motion also includes working with Northumbria Police to establish Community Speed Watch schemes in problem areas and developing a strategy to tackle anti-social driving on an evening.