A local authority has been criticised by councillors and residents over a road safety scheme following a crash on a County Durham road last week.

Durham County Councillors Olwyn Gunn and Fraser Tinley have both condemned a lack of funding being allocated towards making the A690 in Willington safer.

This comes after a two-vehicle collision on Cumberland Terrace in Willington, Crook, shortly after 8am on Tuesday (April 23).

They said the Department for Transport provided £2.96 million for improvements on the route between Crook and Neville's Cross in Durham, but added nothing is being spent on improvements to Willington.

Mark Jackson, head of transport and contract services at Durham County Council (DCC), said the schemes the council has proposed for the Safer Road Fund target “specific safety issues” identified along the A690.

He added the council is still in the early stages of developing the schemes and will undertake additional studies in the coming weeks.

A joint statement from Cllr Gunn and Cllr Tinsley said: “There is an urgent need for funding to address the problems on the A690 in Willington. There are too many accidents and nothing is being done about it.

“The Department for Transport recently provided £2.96m for improvements on the route between Crook and Neville's Cross in Durham but nothing is being spent on the stretch within Willington.

“It’s madness that nothing is being spent on improvements in Willington where we need junction improvements, parking control, better signage and traffic calming. Why?”

The pair branded the proposed A690 upgrade an “utter failure” and said they will be demanding something be done as soon as they get a meeting at County Hall.

But Mr Jackson said: “The schemes we have proposed for the Safer Road Fund allocation target specific safety issues that have been identified along this stretch of the A690, as well as meeting the criteria set by the Department for Transport.

“Industry analysis software indicates the proposed measures would help to improve the safety of this road and would reduce the potential for injuries.

“We are still in the early stages of developing these schemes and will be undertaking additional studies and engaging with stakeholders – including meeting with local councillors – over the coming weeks.

"This will allow us to further develop and refine the schemes in line with the funding criteria and our commitment to improving this route for all road users.”

Following the crash on the A690 in Willington, residents said the road could not handle the level of traffic it experiences.

One resident said: “The road wasn't built for traffic of this volume. It’s too narrow and made more difficult by parked cars outside the shops..”

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Another resident said: “I moved up here from London and I am amazed at the dreadful parking here.

“People just park wherever the hell they like. Right at junctions, blocking the whole pavement, on yellow lines.

“There are rules about parking that already cover lots of things but you have zero enforcement here.”