'It's not the road, it's the drivers' - 13 things Echo readers said about the A19

The Echo has launched a Safe A19 campaign. Will you support it?
The Echo has launched a Safe A19 campaign. Will you support it?
Have your say

The state of the A19 - it's something everybody in our region has an opinion about, whether you use it daily, weekly or once in a blue moon.

And yesterday's Letter of the Week certainly got all of you talking about it.

You came in your dozens to respond to our writer, who called for a 50mph speed limit on the A19 from the Tyne Tunnel to the Tees flyover.

He added: "Towns around the A19, such as Seaham, become a car park on pile-up days in this area, as drivers [and] sat navs look for short cuts. Get the speed down."

But did you agree? Here are some of your own comments and suggestions from social media.

Stu Brown: "People need to realise that you need to drive to the speed limit.

"When you are driving along at 45-50mph you force HGVs to overtake which in turn cause traffic build up.

"Like it's been mentioned before when driving on a slip road you are required to match the speed of the traffic, not driving at 20-30mph slower than it. This is what causes issues!"

Adam Mordey: "If anything there should be a minimum speed like in Europe. As a lot of accidents I have seen happen [are] because of slow/nervous drivers. Also in the UK people forget how to drive in wet conditions."

Ashleigh Emma Wilson: "Or just keep it the same, monitor it and penalise all the idiot drivers that cause collisions and near misses due to either speeding or not paying attention because they're too busy talking on the phone."

Sarah Smiles: "There's nothing wrong with the road it's the same layout as any other dual carriageway.

"I travel this road five times a week and have done for 15 years.

"The problem is slow drivers remaining in the outside lane as there's a lorry half a bloody mile ahead that they have to overtake.

"This road needs cameras and active policing with fines for the idiots who block the lanes.

"I see it every day and that is the main issue causing bother. Slowing it down further is going to cause bigger problems."

Matt Highley: "Anyone who jumps to saying 'make it slower' clearly doesn't know how the road and law works.

"Crashes and accidents are due to bad drivers, just like you still get accidents on 30mph roads!"

Steve Hall: "People keep going on about slow and fast lanes. They are no such things on any of the roads in the UK.

"Most people forget that we drive on/in the left-hand lane any other lanes are their to allow overtaking only. They could do with min speeds in dual carriageways as well as motorways."

Read more: Safe A19: What our campaign is about and how you can help

Joanna Feeney: "There are many issues with [the] A19 that contribute to the regular problems - very short slip roads, right hand turns, agriculture vehicles at peak times. Adjusting the speed limit won't address these."

Charlotte McGinn: "I think the problems I've seen most often are people going too slowly down slip roads and sometimes even stopping at the bottom of them. People hogging the right lane and a lot of lane switching without leaving enough room."

Paul Kerry: "It's not the speed it's the incompetence and lack of due care and attention behind the wheel. Vehicles, while driven, should be able to scramble every social media app on phones so they can't be used, apart from calls."

Deborah Gill: "I hate the fact our 70mph roads are being changed to 50 in some parts, but the shear volume of traffic at peaks times deems it necessary. Bad driving comes in all shapes and forms, double it with rush hour and it's always going to be an accident waiting to happen."

Wendy Walker: "Driving the national speed limit is not the issue on this road. Its the idiots who speed, under take, lane hop, drive with no lights on, don't think about how weather affects roads! Need I go on? Morons just need to slow down and follow the highway code!"

Steve Ruffell: "Two simple issues here. Bad driving, and bad road layout/junctions. Whole point of motorways and dual carriageways is to convey traffic quickly and safely.

"Deal with bad drivers, adapt or replace the junctions and road layouts that cause back up."

James Palmer: "The A19 is not designed for the amount of traffic that utilises it. The lanes are too narrow, adjoining slip roads are not long enough get up to traffic speed, signage for off slips is poor.

"Also those toddling along at 50mph cause most of the problem, as overtaking these cause the majority of incidents. The whole stretch between Testos to Peterlee needs a complete overhaul."

*The Sunderland Echo, along with our sister titles the Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail, is calling on the Government to carry out an inquiry into the road's safety. Our Safe A19 petition has been signed by more than 800 people so far. You can add your name to it here.