Right turns on to a busy Wearside road will be stopped after city leaders went back to the drawing board over plans for a major junction overhaul.
Sunderland City Council had proposed to fully close of the gap in the central reservation on the A690 at Stoneygate, but was told to think again after the idea was opposed by nearby residents, with petitions and a Facebook campaign page set up.
Paramedics and firefighters also said the plan would affect response times and, while police backed action, officers called for the right turns to remain.
Now the council’s Highways and Planning Committee has voted to close off right turns to drivers coming out of the Newbottle and Warden Law side roads onto the A690.
The council has said that, while this is the least frequent manoeuvre at the junction, they account for the majority of collisions at the accident blackspot.
Road bosses estimate it will prevent five crashes every three years and will affect around 285 drivers a year using High Lane and around 460 using the Warden Law route
Banning these movements will have the greatest impact on the potential to reduce collisions at this junction.Councillor Michael Mordey
Councillor Michael Mordey, portfolio holder for city services, said: “The city council undertook an extensive public engagement during the spring of 2015 and proposed a full closure of the central reserve. This did not receive support from the wider public and other stakeholders.
“Taking these views into account, the council re-examined the situation and put forward a new scheme.
“This is to ban the right turns out of the Newbottle and Warden Law side roads.
“Banning these movements will have the greatest impact on the potential to reduce collisions at this junction. The council’s Planning and Highways Committee has welcomed this scheme and a programme of works is being prepared for the summer.”
Residents had suggested traffic lights were installed, High Lane was realigned and the extension and widening of the on/off slip roads.
Copt Hill councillors Derrick Smith, Anthony Allan and then member Colin Wakefield, who lost his seat in last May’s election, had requested the council consider traffic signals, when public consultation began in March last year.
A roundabout or signalled junction were ruled out because they were not deemed to be feasible.
The suggestion to close off the right turns was backed by 70% of the 93 people who responded to the final option, with six, or 7%, were neutral and 22 people, equalling 23% of the responses, were considered negative.