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Letter of the week: 'We need to act now to improve Arches roundabout for the benefit of South Shields'

Work begins on South Shields's Arches roundabout.
Work begins on South Shields's Arches roundabout.

I write with reference to your article ‘Drivers hit out over work at junction’ (January 17), where readers shared their views ongoing highways improvements at The Arches in South Shields.

Several readers questioned the need for these works so I would like to take this opportunity to respond.

The Arches roundabout is one of the most important junctions in South Tyneside, both for traffic movements to and from the Port of Tyne, as well as serving industry and businesses across the wider South Tyneside area.

Forthcoming development, including South Shields 365 town centre redevelopment, the International Advanced Manufacturing Park and Holborn riverside, and the resulting increase in jobs, will bring more traffic and additional pressure on this junction.

The transport model we have used projects a rise in vehicle numbers up to 2032.

If we don’t act now, the existing congestion at Arches would be exacerbated.

We need to ensure that capacity issues on our road network do not hamper our ambitions for economic growth.

The improvements we are making now will help futureproof this strategic corridor, creating additional capacity and ensuring a smoother and quicker commute for those who use the route regularly.

Coun Allan West

Lead Member for Housing and Transport, South Tyneside Council.

Last week's Letter of the week: Sunderland's decision to go with youth is brave and correct