Drivers condemn Â£8.1million Tyne Dock junction project as 'waste of money'
Drivers have slammed an Â£8.1million junction improvement project - despite council chief's saying it's needed to cut congestion.
Work is set to begin on a new road system at Tyne Dock Arches on January 29, which South Tyneside Council says aims to alleviate traffic delays at the "bottleneck" junction of the A185 and A194.
The project will see the Arches and Hobson Way/Elswick Way roundabouts changed into traffic light junctions.
A new one-way road will lead from Hobson Way to Jarrow Road through the industrial estate, and the section of Jarrow Road from the Arches roundabout to the new road would also be made one-way.
Part of the A194 will also be widened towards the Hobson Way/Elswick Way junction to create two right-turning lanes onto Hobson Way.
The project will last 12 months and cost more than £8million, but council chiefs said it would be worth it
However, drivers commenting on the story on our Facebook page were less sure.
Gordon William Allen said: "Total tosh. Waste of cash... Waste of time.... eight million pounds would be better spent addressing the thousands of potholes and worn out road surfaces in South Shields."
David Graham I’ve driven past this junction on my daily commute for the past 12 years and I cannot recount a time where I’ve waited for any significant period of time."
Phil Kennedy said: "Same as Testos - they are going to cause carnage there as well. There are slight delays at peak times, as is everywhere else, but the rest of the time no trouble at all."
Kenny Elliott said: "There’s nothing wrong with the junction, so why try and fix something that’s not broken?"
Some drivers said the work would add to their woes, with major works due to start at Heworth roundabout at the same time.
Andrew Coldwell said: "Absolute joke. Had the Simonside roadworks for a year, and now this. And to make it worse, on my daily commute once I get past this section I have to contend with the Felling bypass where works are due to start on the same day."
Margaret Jobes said: "This starting at the same time as work at Heworth and while Silverlink is ongoing! Is the idea to isolate Shields completely? We know that the Metro is unreliable so how do we get out of town without massive hold ups?"
Lee Kirton had a jibe at the addition of new traffic lights: "Can’t wait for all the extra traffic lights! They’re my favourite part of driving around South Shields," he said.
Margaret Davies added: "Don't forget the speed bumps all over Shields."
"And the pot holes," replied Kayleigh Jane Martin.
Councillor Allan West, the senior councillor responsible for housing and transport in the borough, has said the works would be scheduled to minimise the impact on traffic.
He said: “The project aims to relieve the bottleneck at the Arches, where the A194 meets with A185, which has seen a significant increase in traffic flows since the opening of the second Tyne Tunnel.
“We know how frustrating delays can be for motorists and this scheme should reduce journey times in and out of South Shields as well as providing enhanced pedestrian and cycle facilities.
“The works on the highway will generally be completed in off-peak periods so people travelling in rush hour should experience minimal disruption. "I am sure, once complete; the improvements will be of huge benefit to those who regularly use this route."
The peak periods the council says workers will aim to avoid are 6.30am to 9am and 4pm to 6.30pm.