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Roads and bridges

We are responsible for the maintenance and repair of most roads and bridges in Sunderland. This page provides more information about our work, and allows you to report problems with roads and bridges in the city.

For up to date traffic reports visit

Highways England maintain the network of motorways and A roads in city and wider North East region, for more information visit Yorkshire and North East - Highways England

Highway Maintenance Programme 2022-23

The highway maintenance programme below details the council's planned maintenance work on carriageways and footways. For ease of reference, the schemes have been assembled in Regeneration Areas.

The programme has been determined using information gathered from detailed condition assessments, accident claims, public reports and engineering judgement. Priority is based on the classification of the road, bus routes, type and number of vehicles, and location.

The work on principal roads has utilised detailed visual and machine condition surveys including SCANNER and SCRIM survey information.

The programme will be delivered through existing arrangements between the councils Highway Operations Section and the council's surfacing contractor.

Ward members, owners and occupiers of properties directly affected will be informed of the timing and duration of works. Major schemes will be notified through the press.

These maintenance schemes are being funded through the City Councils Capital Budget. To report a damaged or unsafe wall please contact the City and neighbourhood team.

The A19, A1, A1(M) and A194(M) are managed by Highways England.

Scheme request feedback (PDF) [131KB]

Related downloads 


Coalfield Area 2022-23

East Area 2022-23

North Area 2022-23

Washington Area 2022-23

West Area 2022-23

City Map 2022-23

2022-2023 Highway Maintenance DBM Programme Issue 2

Sunderland HRA Surfacing Programme 22-23 Issue 2A


Sunderland Surfacing Programme 21-22 Issue 3

Sunderland Surfacing Programme Issue 2A 2021-2022

Highway Maintenance Programme 2021-22 - Sunderland HRA Surfacing Programme 1A

Grouted Macadam Resurfacing

City map 2021-22

Coalfield Area

East Sunderland Area

North Sunderland Area

Washington Area

West Sunderland Area

Obstructions and maintenance

Under the Highways Act 1980, the council has powers, as the Highway Authority, to ensure that the highways are kept clear of any obstructions. The council has the power to serve notice on a person who commits an offence of wilful obstruction of the highway and can, under certain circumstances, remove the obstruction and recharge the offender any costs involved. To report an obstruction, contact City and neighbourhoods using the contact details on this page. 

We're also responsible for the maintenance of the roads of Sunderland. For ease of reference, all of the schemes have been assembled in Regeneration Areas. Select any area from the 'Related Downloads' section below to see details of work planned. You can give us feedback on road maintenance work that has taken place in the city using the Highways Maintenance Schemes questionnaire. 

Weight limits

Weight restrictions are used to limit the impact of heavy goods vehicles on the infra-structure and in residential areas. A weight limit can be imposed to prevent damage to bridges, roads and buildings. Weight restrictions for environmental reasons can also be imposed after complaints or petitions from local residents or the public. These could be to prevent heavy goods vehicles using routes near schools, in residential areas, or between certain hours or days. In some instances restrictions may be applied where there is a better and equally convenient alternative route.

The normal environmental weight limit is 7.5 tonnes but there are some exceptions where a lower weight limit may be used.

Exemptions apply for vehicles requiring legitimate access to properties or business premises in the area covered by the environmental weight limit.

For more information on weight restrictions, contact the City and neighbourhood team.

Bridges and bridge strengthening

We are responsible for the maintenance and repair of most of the bridges in Sunderland.

We are also responsible for the construction and structural maintenance of both highways and bridges.  This includes;

  • Improvement of highways for new development works
  • Designing and commissioning highways maintenance and improvement schemes
  • Inspection, assessment, maintenance and improvement of bridges and highway structures
  • Designing and commissioning street lighting maintenance and improvement schemes
  • Managing the maintenance of traffic signal installations
  • Carrying out safety and detail inspections

If you are concerned about the safety and maintenance of a bridge within the boundaries of Sunderland, please contact the City and neighbourhood team.

For bridges on the A19, please contact Highways England.

Wall maintenance

Walls and fences that surround property and fields are erected and maintained by the land owner.

We will maintain and repair:

  • Walls that support the structure of the highway - these are called highway retaining walls
  • Walls retaining land that has been excavated in cutting to form a highway parapet wall on bridges
  • Walls providing a safety barrier, for example a steep drop at the other side of the wall

Related Links

Road defects or potholes - The council is responsible for inspecting, repairing and maintaining all public roads across the city.

External Links

Highways Act 1980- The Highways Act 1980

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 - Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

New Road and Street Works Act 1991- An Act to amend the law relating to roads so as to enable new roads to be provided by new means; to make new provision with respect to street works and, in Scotland, road works; and for connected purposes.

Local Transport Plan - Tyne and Wear Local Transport Plan




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