Cameras set up at busy Sunderland junction to look at safety improvements after crashes and near misses

Data from a busy Sunderland junction is being gathered by road bosses as they answer calls to look into safety improvements.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 4:55 am

Ward councillors for Fulwell called on highways experts at Sunderland City Council to look at the point where Shields Road meets Dovedale Road following concerns from residents nearby about crashes and near misses.

Cameras were installed to gather data in the initial part of the project, with efforts ongoing to pull together information as officers look at what can be done to improve its safety.

Councillor James Doyle one of three Conservative members for the ward, said representatives had been raising the issue with council for a number of years.

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The point where Shields Road, which has a 40mph limit, meets Dovedale Road, where vehicles are told to keep to 20mph, is known to be a problem for drivers to negotiate.

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He said part of the issue is rooted in the fact problems with the junction are anecdotal, as incidents go unreported to the police and council because they have not resulted in serious injury or death.

He said: “Officers have said they are crunching the data and we will then have a further meeting in about three or four weeks to discuss that and what next steps can be taken and what changes could be made.

"That could be something quite simple, like keep clear markings or a box junction, or something more complicated, it just depends on what the data says.

Investigations are ongoing to look at potential safety improvements at the junction of Dovedale Road and Shields Road.

"It’s especially frustrating because unless the police are involved, it seems the council will only take notice if someone is injured or if there is a fatality.”

He added councillors had already succeeded in pushing for a vehicle activated speed sign on Dovedale Road and a 20mph limit after speeds of 51mph were recorded, with research finding 260,155 vehicles had used the southbound side of the street during February, March and April this year.

When asked about the investigations at the junction of Shields Road and Dovedale Road, a council spokesperson said: “Following requests to make improvements at the junction of Dovedale Road and Shields Road, cameras have been put in place to monitor traffic turning in and out of the junction and help us to better understand how it is being used.”

Councillor James Doyle is one of three Conservative members for the Fulwell Ward of Sunderland City Council.

The council did not respond to a request from the Echo for further details it has about the number of incidents, their nature and how the inquiries came about.

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