COUNCILLORS in Sunderland and Durham have welcomed £4million of funding to improve some of the region’s worst traffic blackspots.
Last week, Sunderland City Council was awarded £1.82million by the Government’s £190million Local Pinch Point Fund.
The money will help fund £2.6million of work to improve traffic light systems at three major junctions along the A19.
Meanwhile, Durham County Council won £2.2million from the scheme, which will be used as part of a £3.2million project to widen the junction of Park Road and Junction 63 of the A1(M) to ease congestion.
“The additional Government funding provided by our successful bid, will be used to increase traffic flow and reduce congestion at three very important junctions in our road network,” said portfolio holder for city services, Councillor James Blackburn.
“The junctions are where the A1231 Wessington Way, the A690 Durham Road and the A183 Chester Road meet the A19.
“Each of the roundabouts at the junctions will benefit from the introduction of the latest signal and traffic control technology.
“These traffic light systems will respond immediately to traffic conditions and the volume of cars, rather than simply being preset, and this will improve traffic flows through the junctions.
“Connection of the lights to a traffic management control centre will allow the light sequence to be changed if any breakdowns or unusual events occur, which will help prevent any unnecessary delays for motorists.
“The proposals for the Sunderland Strategic Junction Improvement Scheme have been drawn up with partners including the Highways Agency, to increase access to important development, employment and residential sites across the city.
“A good transport infrastructure is vital to this city’s economic future and we welcome this funding, which will help its continued development and improvement.”
Durham’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, Coun Neil Foster, said: “We’re delighted that our bid was successful, and look forward to making improvements that will make life easier for motorists as well as boosting the local economy.”