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The north west side of Sunniside’s main street (A692) is a nightmare for pedestrians and cyclists, because of poorly arranged parking and vehicle circulation. Both sides of the road have unusual kerbed cycle lanes, which in parts is at a lower level than the main road surface. Across the full width of the public highway, there are six kerbs in total along much of the length. The unsigned cycle lane occupies most of what you would think is the pavement, and is used by pedestrians as a footpath. Passing cyclists obviously prefer to use the road even though there are lots of badly parked vehicles manoeuvring. Many vehicles park half-way over the kerb onto the ‘path’ (while many don’t), and many cars are parked inefficiently, with excess spacing or even diagonal parking. People also park in the narrow side road next to Crowder Pharmacy leading to the back lane. This is two-way, leading to vehicles backing out onto the main road where two vehicles come face to face. Given the presence of the doctor’s surgery, pharmacy and post office, the road could be widened to provide parking places of maximum one or two hours, plus better access for the infirm (blue badge holders, etc.), and for delivery vehicles. The two side lanes to the back lane could be made one way (or at least priority in one direction), one ‘in’ and one ‘out’. The pharmacy will need a space to allow the delivery-to-home van suitable regular access to the shop (bear in mind pharmacy delivery services reduce car use by customers). Various levels of yellow lining are possibly needed, and individual parking spaces marked out so that drivers don’t waste the available resource. BT Openreach may need to move their telephone poles back, as otherwise they will severely constrain the design of solutions. Bear in mind that Starling Walk, which might be tempting for visitors to park in, is private. Unless central Sunniside’s road problems are fixed, a pedestrian (or cyclist or vehicle occupant) is going to get killed.

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