The traffic jams have begun. A year-long project to transform a major road in South Tyneside has started to cause hold-ups.
Drivers have been left facing half-hour queues on John Reid Road, South Shields, as work on a £7.5million scheme to improve the junction with Newcastle Road, Leam Lane in Jarrow, and the neighbouring Lindisfarne Roundabout, gets under way.
The delays, compounded by gas works following a leak, has already caused traffic to build between the Scotch Estate and the John Reid Road roundabout, leading many to turn off Perth Avenue or find other ways out of town.
Neil Downey left Simonside to head to Asda in Boldon Colliery on Wednesday afternoon.
The 31-year-old business manager, who works for Wearside Auto Park in Sunderland, said: “It took me about 25 minutes to go just two miles. It was very frustrating. “I’ve complained to the council and they just said they’ve got the road lay out to a minimum and the work needs to be done.
“I understand that, but there are residents here, but do they expect us to put up with that for 52 weeks?
Outside peak periods motorists are advised to leave extra time for their journey or use an alternative route.South Tyneside Council spokesman
“I think the improvements are definitely needed, but something needs to be done to manage the situation short term.”
South Tyneside Council has said it has ensured residents are informed, and are working with traffic management control to help keep people up to date via social media, with closures in place outside peak times.
A spokesman said: “First of all let me thank motorists for their patience during the extensive works taking place to improve the junction at Lindisfarne.
“The roundabouts and Leam Lane will remain open for the majority of the works, with two lanes in operation during peak periods. Lanes will be narrowed.
“Outside peak periods motorists are advised to leave extra time for their journey or use an alternative route.”
More information about the work can be found via www.southtyneside.gov.uk/transport.