The family of a pensioner who died on the A690 have described a speed limit change as her “lasting legacy”.
Dolores Hubbert, 81, died in August 2014, when the great-grandmother’s Nissan Micra ended up on the other side of the carriageway and was hit by a Toyota Yaris.
She had been travelling on the eastbound side of the road, which takes more than 30,000 vehicles every day, when she crossed over two lanes and on to the westbound carriageway.
The collision led Sunderland City Council officers to assess the section near East Rainton at the request of the police to look at ways of improving the junction.
Now a 50mph speed limit is in place along the whole route, between the A19 at Doxford Park and into Durham City, after the national speed limit section between Houghton and the Raintons was lowered.
It followed a consultation last year, sparked by Mrs Hubbert’s death and two other serious or fatal collisions in the last five years.
We hope this will a legacy to our mother and we hope it will prevent any tragedies in future and save lives.Ian Maggiore
Mrs Hubbert, of Ryehill View, in East Rainton, who was also known by her first married name Maggiore, died of a chest injury, her inquest heard.
Her son Ian, speaking on behalf of the family, said: “We hope this will be a legacy to our mother and we hope it will prevent any tragedies in future and save lives.
“After the accident, the police in Houghton were great and really supportive, as were the emergency services and air ambulance response.
“I drove along the section of the road with my family heading towards an appointment the other day, even more poignantly on Mother’s Day, with as ever a sense of sadness and loss but very much now sated with the eventual new speed restriction now in place.”
An option of closing the junction at East Rainton, where the collision happened, was also suggested following Mrs Hubbert’s death, but not pursued.
Concerns had also been raised about the length of grass along that section of Durham Road, as it was obstructing the view of drivers using the turn-offs.
Widow Mrs Hubert was also mum to Martin, Peter and Anita Valente and a grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of three.
Councillor Michael Mordey, the council’s cabinet member for city services, said: “This reduction of the speed limit to 50mph is about improving capacity and helping to improve safety.
“It also ensures consistency with the speed limit applied on the north eastern section of the A690 from A19 roundabout and that from the Durham boundary.”
New signs showing the new speed limit have been installed on the section of the route.