Roads chiefs have been urged to switch off traffic lights and re-open a junction banned to cars at a new £7.5m traffic scheme in South Tyneside.
Less than two weeks after the system around the Lindisfarne roundabout fully opened, Gazette readers say it is already time for South Tyneside Council to act.
The Gazette yesterday revealed how residents and a councillor, fear streets on the Scotch Estate, including Sterling Avenue and Elgin Street, will be turned into dangerous rat runs.
They blame the closure of an exit route on Edinburgh Avenue into the new three-lane A194 Newcastle Road, which is now blocked to all but buses.
South Tyneside Council has defended the overall road project, and has urged borough residents to be patient while the system beds in.
But many Gazette readers took to social media site Facebook to condemn the system’s operation.
Carol Ord said she fears someone will be killed by a car in Stirling Avenue, adding: “It’s now like wacky races here. Kids up the street are in danger of being hurt or worse. But until someone is seriously hurt the council will ignore the problems they are causing.”
And Sandra Kimber added: “Sterling Avenue is always busy with parked cars and kids in the street. I hated it when the traffic was coming past. I feel sorry for people living in Sterling Avenue.”
Karl Prince said: “Should never have closed the bottom exit. Elgin isn’t designed to handle a lot of traffic, you can most days hardly get a car down it with the parked cars. With the kids playing on the field in front of the houses it’s an accident waiting to happen.”
But Neil Barry defended the move to make part of Edinburgh Road car free, saying: “Those side streets have been used as rat runs for years when the main route through the estate has been backed up.
“If anything, in time the traffic will decrease when drivers realise there is no exit other than for buses and thus make the estate safer for everyone.”
The use of traffic lights was attacked by Rachael King, who said: “I don’t agree with the traffic lights, they need to be removed.
“I was in a taxi at 4am on Sunday and stuck in the traffic lights with no traffic coming. It’s an absolute joke. Sort it out and listen to the people.”
And Janet Defty added: “The amount of traffic around the John Reid Road yesterday was astounding, all because of those damn lights, and it was only 2.30pm, so not even peak time. Absolutely ridiculous.”
Neil Robinson condemned the lights at the John Reid Road roundabout as a “joke”, adding: “Whoever is managing these lights needs to sort this out. £7m wasted.”
Lea Brand said: “Traffic lights are an absolute joke - switch them off and watch how freely the traffic flows.”
Matthew Bonner added: “It’s the lights on the roundabout that’s the biggest joke. It’s worse than ever. Was bad enough when the lights were part time. Everything flowed so smoothly with those lights turned off.”