Major road improvement projects confirmed for A19 at Testos and A690 junctions

Highways chiefs are set to press ahead with major roadworks projects on the A19 in Sunderland

Improved access from the A19 to the proposed new International Advanced Manufacturing Park and Nissan plant in Sunderland is among the upgrades which are worth around £82million.

A second scheme in Sunderland will tackle what the Highways Agency calls a bottleneck at the A19 and A690 Doxford Park junction, unlocking the potential for 1,345 new homes.

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Richard Marshall, Highways England 's regional director for operations for Yorkshire and the North East, said: "Our roads are vital for the country and its economic success; they connect businesses and communities and support employment and new homes.

"All of our improvements will ultimately ensure our roads continue to improve journeys and unlock the potential for new jobs and homes."

After the Government gave Highways England the green light to start construction, work on the major upgrade to improve access from the A19 at Testos to the proposed Manufacturing Park and Nissan plant, is due to start in the New Year.

At the Doxford Park junction Highways England will work with Sunderland City Council to increase capacity, which is says will significantly reducing journey times and congestion at peak hour, as well as paving the way for new homes in the future.

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Councillor Amy Wilson, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for Environment and Transport, said: "The city council has undertaken a series of A19 junction improvements in recent years and winning this funding is going to bring more improvements.

"Recent works have been tackling pinch-points and improving both access and exits for vehicles crossing the city.

"Now, for those using the A19 economic corridor here is more investment to support our city and all the development at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP)."

Thousands of people in Doxford and Ryhope are also going to gain from more investment in our city’s highways.

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The improvements in Sunderland, together with a project in Harrogate to improve junction 47 of the A1(M), will cost £2million, and are being paid for as part of Highways England’s dedicated £100million fund to help local growth and housing schemes get off the ground.

The fund has already provided more than £77million to communities across the country, improving junctions and creating access to commercial land and new homes.

This includes a £1million boost to a scheme in Darlington, aimed at improving the A68 Rotary Way roundabout. This roundabout links Darlington with the A1M and has unlocked 1 million square feet of business land in Faverdale.

The completed scheme has created a new slip road on the A68 approaching Rotary Way roundabout from the motorway, a new link road from West Park onto Newton Lane, and the roundabouts at Cockerton have also been improved.