Plans to fix illegal parking on A690 Durham Road in Sunderland slammed

A council has been accused of “rewarding” years of “illegal and dangerous” parking outside a problem garage after plans to install dedicated bays outside it were revealed.

Residents have slammed Sunderland City Council’s plans to scrap one lane of the A690, install parking bays and remove a disabled crossing, after years of complaints.

Customers’ cars and company-branded vehicles continue to be left on double-yellow lines, often blocking the left-hand carriageway, outside O’Connor’s Garage in Sunderland.

Read more: Cars STILL illegally parking on problem Durham Road in Sunderland

In recent months pictures have shown the continuing situation with vehicles illegally parked almost every day – and on some occasions, parked on a pedestrian island.

Picture: CONTRIBUTOR

The Northern Echo: Picture: CONTRIBUTORPicture: CONTRIBUTOR

In a letter to residents this week, the council has made the proposal to reduce the existing dual-carriageway into one lane, widen the cycle path and relocate a disabled crossing.

Read more: Sunderland garage accused of ‘blocking’ part of A690 with cars

Meanwhile, it has said two parking bays will be created outside the garage with a one hour maximum stay and no return within two hours – as well as new double-yellow lines.

It has also proposed the installation of a series of bollards in between the newly intoduced parking spaces and the cycle lane in a bid to prevent further problems.

The Northern Echo: Picture: CONTRIBUTORPicture: CONTRIBUTOR

The Northern Echo: Picture: CONTRIBUTORPicture: CONTRIBUTOR

However, residents last night described such plans as “laughable” as they said the introduction of parking bays will not solve the problem at a cost to the taxpayer.

One said: “They’re putting in these parking bays, but we already have two along this stretch with the same restrictions as they’re proposing for these new ones.

“Those bays are not policed ​​now, we have O’Connor’s parking vehicles in those bays for weeks at a time and nobody bats an eyelid.

“The removal of a carriageway just to try and solve O’Connor’s illegal parking is going to cost taxpayers thousands and will be detrimental to the highway when there’s increasing traffic on the roads – they’re rewarding years of misery to residents.

“It’s agreed we need action, but this obviously is not the answer. It won’t work.”

The resident added they had previously called for bollards or fencing to be installed on the current design as seen on the other side of the road, but that this had been ignored.

Since the letter was issued, it is understood a number of residents in the Durham Road and Otto Terrace area have already submitted their concerns over the proposals.

In recent months, The Echo has been made aware of concerns including near-misses with legally parked cars, disabled access blocked and the cycle path unusable.

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Councilor Andrew Wood of Millfield, who previously raised concerns over parking in the area before, said he supported residents’ calls for action to be taken.

He said: “The ward councillors have been pushing for some time to have changes made to the junction.

“There are issues with parking for businesses, and for the church, which is will also need parking in new role as a polling station.

“The cycle lane needs improvement. There needs to be better use of the junction to keep visibility clear. There are a range of changes that are out for consultation.

“I support residents’ demand for more enforcement of parking rules, not only around this busy junction, but in other parking hotspots around Thornholme and Millfield.

“We’ll keep pressing for more resources to be deployed.”

In response to the concerns raised following the proposals, Sunderland City Council said: “We have drawn-up proposals which aim to improve accessibility and parking at this location and consultation is underway.

“The proposals aim to improve accessibility for all, and include an improved crossing facility, a wider cycle lane and multiple limited waiting bays.”

Those with any feedback on the plans can contact the council via IC.Consultations@sunderland.gov.uk

O’Connor’s Garage could not be reached

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