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New speed reduction measures will be installed on busy Sunderland Street UK News

New traffic calming measures to improve safety and tackle speeding on a road in Sunderland have been approved.

Sunderland City Council previously approved a policy to introduce new 20mph zones citywide in residential areas where problems have been identified.

One of those areas was Seaburn Dene in the Fulwell neighborhood, as the council’s investigations found vehicles routinely operated on main roads at over 30 mph during rush hour.

Council officers also confirmed that some high speeds reached the 46 mph-51 mph range.

To complete the proposed 20 mph zone, it was identified that pedestrians using Dovedale Road and surrounding streets would benefit from improvements to an existing pedestrian refuge.

This included upgrading the crossing point between Torver Crescent and Bampton Avenue with an “elevated speed table”, associated sidewalk / sidewalk modifications and new paving.

A report prepared for councilors this week said the existing zebra crossing is used by large numbers of students from nearby schools and residents accessing the main bus stop on Dovedale Road.

The report adds that the new speed table “would force drivers to comply with [new] Zone speed limit of 20 mph ”at the crossing point and“ ensure pedestrian safety ”.

As part of the legal process for the changes, a Traffic Control Order (TRO) for the 20 mph zone and an elevated speed table have been issued.

Due to one public objection, the proposed TRO was summoned to the council’s planning and roads committee for decision on Monday.

According to a statement included in a council report, the opponent had no problem with the 20 mph schedule, but objected to the speed chart, saying it would have a “direct impact” on their property.

Concerns included loss of property value and increased noise and emissions, due to more cars slowing down at the speed table.

The objector also said that there had been no accidents at the crossing point near Torver Crescent, indicating that the measures currently in place were “more than adequate”.

However, the city’s transportation department, responding in a report, said there was no evidence to suggest there would be a reduction in the value of the properties where the speed tables are located.

Engineering technician Stephen Dixon, speaking at the planning meeting at the Sunderland Civic Center this week, also highlighted the safety benefits of traffic calming measures.

He said: “What is worth highlighting is that yes there was no accident at this crossing which we are all very happy with.

“But as a board we’re sometimes criticized for waiting for accidents to happen and it’s a great opportunity to be proactive.

“Let’s not wait for someone to be hit or seriously injured and try to prevent that from happening before it happens.”

The position was shared by Councilors Stephen Foster and Steven Bewick, both of whom expressed their support at the meeting.

Cllr Bewick added: “I know the residents probably don’t want to [speed tables] outside of their property for whatever reason, but I think something like that, we should be encouraging more across town.

“I think it’s a good proposition.

After discussion, the councilors of the Planning and Roads Committee (East) agreed to reject the objection, in accordance with a recommendation from the council agents.

Following the decision, city officials will take “all necessary measures” to advance the traffic calming plan.

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