VILLAGERS are being given the opportunity to examine proposals to revitalise their shopping centre.

Residents and traders are taking the chance to express their views on plans for a £400,000 upgrade of the commercial centre of Shiney Row, on Wearside.

Consultants have drawn up proposals to reduce traffic levels, provide more on-street parking, increase pedestrian safety and create a more pleasant, accessible environment for shoppers and others using facilities in the village centre.

Shiney Row lies on the A183 Chester-le-Street to Sunderland road, at its junction with the A182 Washington to Houghton-le-Spring route.

As part of the planned scheme, through traffic between Sunderland and Chester-le-Street will be directed along the A182 Washington Highway and the Biddick Woods link road.

Councillor Anne Hall, who chairs Sunderland City Council's Coalfield Area Committee, said: "These plans are a much-needed shot-in-the-arm for the shopping centre.

"The council is demonstrating its commitment to Shiney Row with this major investment.

"Creating more attractive public spaces, the reduction of traffic and greater pedestrian safety will, we hope, attract more people to use the centre and increase business for local shops.

"This is vital if the centre is to thrive and attract further investment, particularly from the private sector."

The proposals are displayed in the Community Library, in Chester Road, until Saturday.