Mum of coma girl delighted over £7.5million improvement scheme for blackspot roundabouts

Parents Lisa Boots and Chris Bootes of four year old daughter Jessica Bootes in Newcastle's RVI after the smash.
Parents Lisa Boots and Chris Bootes of four year old daughter Jessica Bootes in Newcastle's RVI after the smash.

The mum of a youngster who was badly injured at a notorious roundabout in South Tyneside is delighted a £7.5m improvement scheme will begin next month.

The project, which will help ease congestion and help reduce accidents, will widen the A194 Leam Lane road between the Lindisfarne and John Reid roundabouts.

Lindisfarne Roundabout.

Lindisfarne Roundabout.

In March 2014 Jessica Bootes, who was just four at the time, spent 11 days in a coma and had to have the left side of her skull removed, and suffered paralysis down the right side of her body after her face smashed into the front passenger seat during a five-car collision on the A194.

Her mum Lisa Bootes, from Harton, South Shields, is pleased the works are about to begin - but is warning people to be vigilant.

She said: “I am rally pleased that works will be starting here as it’s been a long time coming.

“This road is hectic at the best of times and so please everyone be extra vigilant and patient whilst the works are carried out.”

Please be extra vigilant.

Lisa Bootes

Construction company Galliford Try Infrastructure Limited is delivering the project, on behalf of South Tyneside Council.

The scheme will involve widening both Lindisfarne and John Reid roundabouts and most of the dual carriageway in between from two to three lanes in both directions. It will also include flood alleviation works.

The roundabouts and Leam Lane will remain open for the duration of the works, with two lanes in operation during peak periods.

Coun Allan West, Lead Member for Housing and Transport, said: “Good transport networks are key to boosting the Borough’s economy and maximising employment and investment opportunities.

“Lindisfarne is a main gateway for people coming in and out of South Tyneside and for connecting people to the A19, so reducing congestion in this area is a priority for the council.

“Not only will these works cut journey times, especially during rush hours, but it will improve road safety at this location, benefiting both commuters and people who live locally.

“We are also planning to carry out some drainage works to alleviate the risk of flooding as well as to provide better routes for pedestrians and cyclists.”

He added: “Disruption will be kept to a minimum and two lanes will remain open at peak times. However outside these hours it is advisable to allow a little extra time for your journey or find an alternative route.”

The Lindisfarne scheme is the first of a wider programme of strategic transport investment projects that are proposed to help reduce congestion, reinforce the economic potential of the A19 corridor and establish a strategic gateway into South Tyneside.

These projects also include the Arches junction (A194/A185) at Tyne Dock in South Shields and the approach to Testos Roundabout (A19/A185).