Residents have hit out at a stretch of road near a County Durham shopping centre - branding the traffic build-up for residents of nearby towns and villages as 'beyond a joke'.

Drivers who have battled traffic on the A19 and B1285 near Dalton Park have been left furious after being left sitting in traffic for around an hour.

The Christmas rush at the County Durham retail park, coupled with the usual traffic from Sunderland, Seaham, Peterlee and Hartlepool, has led to massive queues of traffic for motorists, who have branded the A19 - 'a glorified car park'. 

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As Christmas approaches and people pop out looking for presents, it's expected that traffic will build further - but that hasn't stopped some hitting out at the 'madness' of the road. 

One driver, who did not wish to be named, said: "It’s getting ridiculous now. People who live in Seaham and Murton can’t even get home because of the traffic," while another added: "Yet again. Road to nowhere doing nothing." 

Other drivers have also expressed their worry that the same will happen near where they live, with one motorist telling The Northern Echo: "Made a right mess of the whole thing. The same will happen in Bishop Aukland when the retail park there opens. One road in and out of two shopping hubs, cinema etc and a football stadium. What could go wrong?"