Proposals to close A690 accident black spot

Sunderland City Council Cabinet Secretary Cllr Mel Speding (centre) with Sunderland City Council Group Engineer Craig Wilkinson (left) and Engineer Graham Brown (right) at the dangerous A690 High Lane junction which provides access to Newbottle, Warden Law and Ryhope.
Sunderland City Council Cabinet Secretary Cllr Mel Speding (centre) with Sunderland City Council Group Engineer Craig Wilkinson (left) and Engineer Graham Brown (right) at the dangerous A690 High Lane junction which provides access to Newbottle, Warden Law and Ryhope.
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A DANGER junction which has been labelled an accident black spot could be closed as part of new £150,000 traffic proposals.

Sunderland City Council today said residents and businesses will be asked about closing the A690/High Lane junction at Stoneygate, in Houghton.

The route provides access to Newbottle for drivers on its west side, and to Warden Law and Ryhope to the south and east.

However, the area has become synonymous with road smashes, and council bosses say that between November 2011 and October last year there were 11 crashes which caused personal injuries.

A report from the council is suggesting that all right-turning traffic movements should now be stopped.

About 30,000 vehicles pass through the junction each day and, with the possibility of long tailbacks, transport chiefs argue it is not practical to introduce traffic lights.

The council had looked at a roundabout previously, but was unable to secure access and permissions from land owners.

Coun Michael Mordey, the council’s portfolio holder for city services, said: “Unfortunately, this junction has been the site of too many serious collisions in recent years, and it continues to be a point of road safety concern for the council and the public.

“Because of these concerns, we have been looking at how to make the junction safer and reduce the number of collisions.”

Coun Mel Speding, the council’s cabinet secretary, said: “The city council has a duty to protect highways users – residents and visitors – and we want to hear what householders and businesses think about this idea.

“In the past, we’ve looked at a roundabout or if a junction with signals could help, but they may not reduce the number of collisions and their severity.

“Therefore, as the vast majority of collisions occur when making turns out of the side roads, there’s a plan to look at consultation for closing off these right turns.”

A report on the junction is being examined by the city council’s Highways and Planning Committee on Wednesday, February 18.

The report outlines how the simplest safety method is removing all right turn movements.

Access to and from the side roads would remain by making a left turn. The scheme is estimated at costing more than £150,000.

Subject to the committee meeting, the council could begin formal consultation at the end of this month.