'Keep clear' box added to problem Sunderland junction in bid to improve safety for thousands of drivers

A keep clear box has been added to a busy accident hotspot junction in a bid to make it safer for the thousands of drivers who use it every day.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 7:00 am

Sunderland City Council has painted the markings at the junction of Southwick Road and Carley Hill Road, which is frequently congested and often difficult to negotiate.

Councillors for the area have said discussions will continue to look at further work, but they have been told by highways officers the layout of the road and nearby crossing means any roundabout installed would block the flow of vehicles.

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A keep clear box has been painted at the junction of Thompson Road and Carley Road to deal with traffic problems.

A council spokesperson said: “Following concerns raised about the junction of Thompson and Carley Road, the council looked again at its safety record and traffic flows.

“More than 17,000 vehicles move daily through Thompson Road and more than 6,000 on Carley Hill.

"Between 2010 and 2019 there were 11 slight accidents reported to Northumbria Police.

“The contributory factors for the accidents were a mixture of driver impairment, weather conditions and driving without due care and attention, rather than the junction itself.

The markings have been put in place following a number of incidents at the junction.

“To help with accessibility, a yellow box scheme was added to the annual programme of works.

“This work on the new yellow box was completed on the evening of Monday, April 19.”

The council added it agrees a programme of several hundred highways projects for resurfacing, safety improvements, new cycle paths, 20mph zones, and community parking schemes each year.

Highways officers have said the layout of the road means a roundabout would lead to traffic being blocked at the junction.

This year’s programme includes more than 200 schemes identified from condition assessments, traffic volumes, safety analysis, and consultation with councillors, community groups and residents.

Southwick Labour Action Team added: “We fully support the views of the residents about the junction and know how strongly people feel about the safety of the junction, which is why we petitioned the council for junction upgrades and will continue to work on behalf of residents as we agree the junction is very busy and everyone is concerned about it.

“Council highways officers have informed us there is not enough room for a roundabout and traffic lights would completely block the traffic flow.

“The yellow box is currently the only compromise being offered and we hope it will be an improvement but we will be closely monitoring the situation and continuing to work with officers to explore any further possibilities.”

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