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New £1.75m roundabout planned for Durham road
A COUNCIL wants to build a £1.75m new roundabout on the busy A167 to cut congestion and improve road safety, it emerged today.
Motorists, truckers and residents have raised concerns over the A167/B6300 junction, near Sunderland Bridge, south of Durham City, for several years.
Lorries heading south from Meadowfield Industrial Estate often struggle to turn right onto the A167 at the junction, leading to traffic queues, uncertainty over journey times and companies being hit in the pocket.
Now Durham County Council highways chiefs want to replace the existing T-junction with a roundabout.
They are asking cabinet members to agree to a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), which would allow the council to buy several small pockets of land around the junction which they say are needed to build the roundabout.
Papers released ahead of next week’s cabinet meeting reveal negotiations with the two landowners involved have so far been unsuccessful.
Councillor Neil Foster, the council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “About 20,000 vehicles a day use the A167 at this point, with about 5,230 vehicles travelling on the B6300.
“This volume of traffic and the junction’s key location make it one of a number highlighted for priority improvement in the Local Transport Plan 3.”
Officials considered introducing traffic signals, which would be cheaper than a roundabout, but concluded this would be difficult due to the proximity of the River Browney and flood defences aimed at protecting the nearby Honest Lawyer Hotel.
The £1.75m needed to buy the land and build the roundabout has been secured and will come from the council’s Corporate Capital Programme.
There have been 12 accidents at the junction in the last five years, including two serious incidents, all of which involved vehicles turning right and crossing oncoming traffic.
The issue is due to be debated by the council’s cabinet when it meets at County Hall, Durham, on Wednesday, October 10, at 9.30am.
The next major roundabout south on the A167, at Thinford, is currently undergoing a major £8.5m expansion linked to the DurhamGate business scheme, on the former Black and Decker site.