Yesterday (21st March) it was confirmed that plans for a new dual-carriageway link into Sunderland City Centre will receive a £40.5-million boost.

The money, from central government, will be spent on the third phase of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC). Parts of the scheme which have already been completed include the Northern Spire (SSTC2) and St Mary’s Boulevard (SSTC1), which runs alongside the Vaux development site.

The third phase of the SSTC will run from the southern end of the Northern Spire through Pallion then underneath the arches of Queen Alexandra Bridge and into Deptford. The road will then continue to the city centre and link up with St Mary’s Boulevard.

Sunderland City Council will be unveiling further details of the scheme and a works programme in the next few weeks.

The leader of the council, Cllr Graeme Miller, said, “As a council, one of our biggest priorities is to make sure we improve the city’s transport links.”

“We set out a major investment programme for our highways work and have completed St Mary’s Boulevard and all the approach roads to the Northern Spire.”

“Our strong case for our works and investment has now been confirmed with this allocation of government money.”

“The third phase of our strategic transport corridor is about better links and connectivity across and through our city. A new dual-carriageway also improves access to more land that can be developed for housing and for businesses.”

“I’m very pleased to hear of the announcement and we’ll be looking to get started on this in the coming weeks.”

In his announcement about the funding of the SSTC scheme, the roads minister Jesse Norman said, “Sunderland is a great city with a great future.”

The SSTC scheme fits in with wider plans by Sunderland City Council, its partners and the private sector to redevelop Sunderland City Centre.

The council’s cabinet member for environment and transport, Cllr Amy Wilson, said, “As a representative and resident of the Pallion ward, I welcomed and watched the works progress on the Northern Spire.”

“I am pleased we can now move to the next stage.”

“This Phase 3 of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor is about improving roads running from the Northern Spire to St Mary’s Way, opening up opportunities for more development on the south side of the river, in the city centre and across our city.”

The SSTC programme is being rolled out in five phases, which are:

  • Phase 1: St Mary’s Boulevard in the city centre (completed)
  • Phase 2: Northern Spire and approach roads (completed)
  • Phase 3: City centre and dual-carriageway links (starting)
  • Phase 4: Wessington Way improvements between the A19 and Northern Spire
  • Phase 5: St Mary’s Boulevard to the Port of Sunderland

(Featured image courtesy of Julian Burgess from Flickr Creative Commons)

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