Sunderland road spillage: Key route to remain closed until next week as clean-up work continues

Work to reopen the eastbound carriageway of the A1231 between the Mill House roundabout is set to continue into next week.
Work to reopen the eastbound carriageway of the A1231 between the Mill House roundabout is set to continue into next week.

A busy Sunderland road is set to remain closed following a major spillage.

Work to reopen the eastbound carriageway of the A1231 Sunderland Highway between the Mill House roundabout and the A182 Washington Highway is expected to carry on into next week after a spillage yesterday.

A large quantity of a non-hazardous by-product of the leather tanning process, was spilled on along a half mile section of the A1231 following a crash between a lorry and a car.

As a result the road has been closed eastbound since Thursday morning.

Due to the nature and quantity of the material involved and the extent and complexity of the recovery operation, the company which owns the HGV which spilled its load has brought in a specialist company to carry out the clean-up operation.

Coun Amy Wilson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Public safety is paramount and at this stage it just isn’t safe to reopen the road.

"Despite extensive work to remove the bulk of the waste, the road remains extremely slippery and isn’t safe to drive on.

“Following an on site meeting today we are continuing to work with the company to employ a range of tried and tested options including scraping the road surface and using high pressure hoses and detergents in a contained manner to power-wash the fatty residue from the road but so far this has had a limited impact.

“This is a critical link in our network so we are working on a solution that will allow us to reopen the road safely as soon as possible."