Work to improve an accident and traffic blackspot in South Tyneside could start next spring.
Anger has grown in recent weeks over tailbacks on roads off the Lindisfarne and John Reid Road roundabouts during peak times.
Frustrated motorists are being forced to sit in gridlock – unable to turn left from the John Reid Road on to the A194 because of tailbacks from traffic which has been unable to clear lights at the Lindisfarne Roundabout.
Some drivers using the John Reid Road have also taken to using the Scotch Estate as a rat run in a bid to beat some of the standing traffic.
Last week, a smash on the slip road led to the road being sealed off for an hour and sparked fresh calls for work to be done to make the route safer.
Lisa Bootes’ daughter Jessica was left seriously injured after a five-car collision on the A194 in March last year and, since then, has appealed for safety measures to be stepped up.
Six months in my view is too long, something needs to be addressed now.Lisa Bootes
While she welcomes news work is set to be carried out in the spring, she had hoped it would start sooner rather than later.
Coun Allan West, lead member for Housing and Transport, said: “Last year the council communicated that improvements to the Lindisfarne Roundabout and John Reid Road were in the pipeline. Since then, officers have been working on a business case to bring this work forward.
“The proposals are aimed at reducing accidents, easing congestion and improving traffic flows and will include drainage works to reduce the likelihood of flooding.
“Work is ongoing and it is anticipated that plans will go out for public consultation later this year. Following consultation and the securing of the necessary funding, work would be expected to start next spring.”
Mrs Bootes, 33, said: “I have been in touch with the council to find out what they are going to be doing about the situation. I have been told there are looking to secure funding for changes to be made on the stretch of road.
“However, six months in my view is too long, it is something which needs to be addressed now.
“But, if they are going to look at it properly and make changes which will make the road a lot safer, then I am over the moon at least something is going to be done.”
Mrs Bootes’ daughter Jessica, who was just four at the time, spent 11 days in a coma and had to have the left side of her skull removed, suffered paralysis down the right side of her body and a loss of speech after her face smashed into the front passenger seat during the five-car collision.
Taxi driver Amir Azad smashed into the back of Lisa and Chris Bootes’ Volkswagen Polo while they were stopped at traffic lights on the A194 Leam Lane, near the Lindisfarne Roundabout in Jarrow, causing a five vehicle pile-up.
Azad had his Hackney Carriage and private hire licence revoked by South Tyneside Council after he admitted a careless driving charge at court.