Latest phase of Sunderland's new 'missing link' road is approved

City councillors have given the go-ahead for the next phase of a major highway scheme on the outskirts of Sunderland.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 9:47 am
Artistic impressions of the new road.

Earlier this year Sunderland City Council submitted plans for earthworks to facilitate the construction of phase four of the Ryhope Doxford Link Road (RDLR).

The 30mph road is to connect the roundabout at Highclere Drive through to the Cherry Knowles area of Ryhope.

As part of the proposals for the stretch known as the “missing link”, there will also be an elevated “multi-user bridge crossing” running above the road near Burdon Lane.

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The new project includes a bridge.

The proposals went before the local authority’s planning and highways (east) committee for a decision on Monday evening and were unanimously approved by councillors.

Council planning officers, who recommended the proposals for approval, said the link road would deliver “a wide range of long-lasting economic, social and environmental benefits”.

The approval came despite a notice going before committee, submitted by Cllr Steven Bewick on behalf of Ryhope residents, raising concerns over the part closure of Burdon Lane due to the RDLR scheme.

Between its junctions with Nettles Lane and Woodham Drive, Burdon Lane is set to close for traffic, which is where the RDLR bisects across it.

Cllr Bewick’s representation argued the majority of residents were against the closure of Burdon Lane to vehicles, arguing it will push more cars through the local estates, which will be used as “rat runs”.

However council planning officers at the meeting told councillors a proposed traffic regulation order (TRO) for closure of part of Burdon Lane to vehicles had already been approved by committee two months ago.

City Council bosses earlier this year outlined details about the £9million route, stating it will ensure Sunderland South is able to handle the growing number of people living there.

The latest work as part of the RDLR will consist of a single carriageway road, which will complete the gap between previous phases.

The highway will pass beneath Burdon Lane, which will be supported by a new four metre wide bridge suitable for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.

A planning statement in support of the development said it is “one of the final phases of a continuous high-standard transport corridor” and will unlock land for new housing developments.

Construction on the next phase is now expected to begin later this year.

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