Call for roundabout upgrade and subway replacement if new Pennywell Greggs & Starbucks is given go ahead
By Margaret Crosby
Urgent road and pedestrian crossing improvements are needed if a new Greggs and Starbucks on Pennywell Industrial Estate in Sunderland are approved, according to local councillors for the area.
Plans have been submitted for a drive through Greggs bakery and a drive through Starbucks coffee shop on the former Dewhurst site on Pennywell Industrial Estate, next to the existing ALDI supermarket, KFC and Wickes store.
But local councillors say something needs to be done to avoid traffic chaos on the roundabout linking the retail park to the A183 (Chester Road / The Broadway) and the A19 if the development goes ahead.
There are also calls for a new pedestrian crossing to allow safe, ground-level access to the new outlets for people living nearby.
The Hastings Hill subway under the A183 (Chester Road) is the only way to get from Grindon and Hastings Hill estates to the retail park, but is subject to continuous vandalism, fly-tipping and urination - meaning many local people refuse to use it, instead risking life and limb by dodging safety railings to cross 4 lanes of speeding traffic on one of the main roads in and out of the city centre.
Commenting, Lib Dem councillor for Grindon and Hastings Hill Margaret Crosby said:
"For years this subway has been notorious and subject to regular vandalism, anti-social behaviour and arson which means many residents don't feel comfortable using it.
"With two new retail units now on the cards and more local people wanting to cross from Grindon and Hastings Hill estates to the new Greggs and Starbucks, Sunderland Council needs to get a grip and urgently commit to installing a safe, ground-level pedestrian crossing. Otherwise I fear that with more people crossing to the retail park and dodging traffic on the Broadway it is only a matter of time before an accident happens.
"A new crossing could be part of efforts to improve the traffic flow on the Hastings Hill roundabout, where peak-time traffic lights could well be needed to deal with extra traffic from this new development. This would also help local people to get out from Hastings Hill and Grindon onto the main road which is an absolute nightmare in rush hours."