Flooding problems at South Shields underpass create ‘accident waiting to happen’

A grandad says flooding problems at a South Tyneside underpass are creating an ‘accident waiting to happen’ on one of the busiest roads in the borough.

The subway which allows pedestrians to walk from Whiteleas Way to Boldon Lane, and underneath John Reid Road in South Shields has been closed for the last two weeks.

Keith Lyall is concerned at an 'accident waiting to happen'.

Keith Lyall is concerned at an 'accident waiting to happen'.

It comes after heavy rainfall left a large amount of water in the underpass, making it impossible to pass through.

South Tyneside Council says it is working to rectify the problem, which has been caused by a collapsed pipe which is due to be dug out next week.

Keith Lyall, 70, regularly uses the subway to take his grandchildren Gary and Ben Chapman, aged seven and 11 respectively, to school.

He says that with no other safe way to cross the road in the immediate vicinity, people are being forced to cross John Reid Road by foot.

It’s an accident waiting to happen

Keith Lyall

Mr Lyall, of Bruce Close, Whiteleas, said: “It has been going on for years, but it has been particularly bad this year.

“The council is aware of the problem, because a fence has been put up to stop people trying to go through it.

“There’s no alternative safe route to cross the road.

“Cars often come up Boldon Lane on the inside lane and don’t indicate that they’re going onto John Reid Road, which sometimes leaves you stuck halfway across the road.

The council has identified a collapsed pipe on a drain.

The council has identified a collapsed pipe on a drain.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Mr Lyall, who is retired, says that the subway was also closed for two weeks earlier this year.

He added: “There is often a foot of water in it, which makes it impossible to pass.

“They need to clear the drain or find an alternative drainage system.

“When it’s closed, you’re forced to cross what is often a very busy road, which is a nightmare with two small children.

“It’s like trying to herd cats.”

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “We are aware of the issue and are working to resolve it.

“We have identified a collapsed pipe on the drain leading from the underpass and have already made arrangements to have that dug out next week.

“Once the broken pipe is repaired, we will investigate the rest of the line and clear any other blockages.

“In the meantime, the underpass is being pumped out daily.

“We recognise the inconvenience caused and are doing everything we can to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.”