Road block put in place at Sunderland junction in six-month study into impact on rat run
A junction leading on to a busy Sunderland road has been closed off to stop traffic using it as a rat run as part of a six-month study.
Action has been taken at the junction of Viewforth Terrace in Fulwell, leading onto Newcastle Road, after councillors said there was an “overwhelming number of requests” to seal it off to motorist.
The shortcut has been used to turn onto the dual carriageway to avoid the lights at the Grange crossroads from Thompson Road.
The six-month prohibition experiment, which has seen the exit closed off using barriers, still allows vehicles into the street.
Drivers have already been spotted breaching the closure, with an officer on the scene earlier in the week and cameras now being used to carry out checks.
Sunderland City Council’s ward members say long-term options will then be considered, including making the closure permanent.
They are also pushing for the council to look into issues with the junction of Thompson Road and Carley Road.
Councillor Kelly Chequer, who represents the area alongside fellow Labour members Michael Butler and Alex Samuels, said: “This is being done on the grounds of safety.
“A lot of residents have asked for this over a number of years and previous councillors haven’t managed to resolve the issue, so we are obviously pleased that the concerns of the residents have finally been heard.
“We canvassed residents when I was first elected as a councillor, and this was very high on their list of priorities.
“Not least due to the high number of family homes in the area with children who are at risk from speeding drivers.
“This, alongside a number of incidents and accidents at or around the junction between Viewforth Drive and Viewforth Terrace and we also have a nursery on Viewforth Terrace with large numbers of young children being collected and dropped off.
“A very small number of drivers have complained, claiming this will add time to their journey, however, this has been minimal.
“I don’t think anyone can argue that a few extra minutes, if it could potentially make the roads safer and reduce the risk to children and other road users, is worth it.”