Transport chief apologises after questions cause long delays for motorists in Sunderland

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MOTORISTS have hit out at transport bosses for causing rush-hour delays by handing out forms seeking views about congestion.

People using the A1231 between Washington and Sunderland yesterday morning said queues took as long as 40 minutes to get through as Highways Agency officers handed out the questionnaires while traffic lights were red.

Lee Hall, journalism lecturer at Sunderland University, said: “I’ve had to cancel lectures because I had no chance of making it in on time. It’s caused the biggest tailback I’ve ever seen.”

A Highways Agency spokeswoman said the survey was part of a programme of surveys which aim to give a picture of traffic patterns on the A19 corridor and help plan improvements.

She added: “We appreciate that handing out cards did cause some minor disruption, and we are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

“We would appreciate the continued patience of road users in recognition that the information being gathered is vital to helping us to better understand, and ultimately improve, the way that traffic moves around the network.”