Drivers sceptical over major A19 road improvement scheme

The Downhill junction
The Downhill junction

Drivers appear sceptical that plans for a major road safety scheme and new bridge will be beneficial.

A massive overhaul has been announced for the roads around Nissan’s Sunderland plant, with plans for a scheme to improve the A1290 junction with the A19 at Downhill unveiled.

The preferred scheme for the Downhill junction

The preferred scheme for the Downhill junction

Sunderland City Council has been promised a share of a £175million road safety fund for improvements on the stretch of the A1290 past the plant.

The preferred option is to upgrade the A19 at the Downhill Lane junction, a move aimed at providing additional capacity, safety and journey times and building a new bridge to the south of the existing bridge to create a raised roundabout above the A19 and new slip roads connecting to the A19 and Testo’s junction.

However, people were concerned that a lot of money has already been ploughed into the area when they commented on the Gazette’s Facebook page.

Keith Duncan, said: “They put new lights and junctions in there not long back to elevate traffic, what a waste of money.”

They put new lights and junctions in there not long back to eleviate traffic, what a waste of money

Keith Duncan

David Barber, said: “So hopefully all the folk who know better will be at one or both of the planning meetings to make their voices and opinions heard rather than whinge on afterwards.”

Liam Kennedy, said: “They just made it worse last time they ‘improved it’. Only took a serious pile up on the A19 before they sorted it out.”

Billy McGill Drone , said: “20 years behind the time.”

Geoff Hadaway, said: “Does it come with traffic lights at roundabouts? that’s always been a crackingly dumb idea but councils love them - can’t wait to see more traffic lights.”

Susan Robson, said: “Haven’t they just spent a fortune installing all those lights and new roads.”

And, Nikki Ratcliffe, said: “It’s already had money ploughed in from Sunderland Council. They got rid of the big roundabouts and put traffic lights up. Will be going to see for a knock on effect will be as they are going to be building some more industrial estates and runing the Townend Farm Estate. Townend Farm Partnership has been set up but nothing to let the residents know what the knock on effect will be with the houses.”

Two events will be held offering members of the public the opportunity to find out more and have their say on the proposals.

The first will be held this Friday from noon until 6pm at the Bunny Hill Library in Hylton Lane, and the second from 10am to 2pm on Saturday at the Quadrus Centre on Boldon Business Park.

Highways England is planning to carry out the work at Downhill Lane at the same time as the Testo’s roundabout improvement scheme to minimise disruption to motorists.

The plan involved two phased applications for development consent, with more information on Testo’s released in in early 2017 ahead of an application for planning permission later in the year.

For more information on the Downhill Lane project, visit