Multi-million pound plans to revive Durham's North Road

The Advertiser Series: Durham bus station Durham bus station

COUNCIL chiefs have unveiled multi-million pound plans to regenerate Durham’s struggling North Road, including a new £6.2m bus station.

Durham County Council wants to demolish the existing bus station and build a new facility nearby, as well as replacing the North Road roundabout with a through road and junction.

Planners also hope to attract a new “anchor store” for the area, helping to create a suitable gateway to the city and World Heritage Site for people arriving by bus or train.

The proposals will go before the council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday (April 16), which will also debate a delayed Durham City Masterplan.

Councillor Neil Foster, the council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “These are exciting plans which will transform Durham into a world class city.

“The potential impact on the economy for County Durham from the overall package of these proposals will make a step change to its competitiveness globally.”

On the North Road project, he added: “This will help bring about a comprehensive improvement to the wider area, attracting private investment to establish an improved retail offer.”

Elvet and Gilesgate councillor David Freeman said North Road and the bus station had been in desperate need of regeneration for many years.

“The street is presently not fit as the gateway to our city.

“These proposals, while too long delayed, will be very welcome.

“This will hopefully kick start the wider regeneration of North Road. I hope the council will now move forward as fast as possible.”

Consultation sessions will be held in the vacant former Blockbuster video shop, on North Road, on May 1 and 2 from noon to 6pm and May 3 from 10am to 2pm.

The Durham City Masterplan, which was withdrawn from cabinet in September to allow further consultation, brings together numerous proposals, including building new housing estates at Sniperley Park, north of the Arnison Centre, Sherburn Road and Merryoaks; a business hub at Aykley Heads; two new bypasses; redeveloping Freeman’s Reach and Milburngate House; and improving Durham’s tourism offer.

It also makes reference to establishing a new family visitor attraction, although no details are provided.

Officials argue £130m-worth of public sector support could attract £850m of private sector investment.

Comments (8)

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2:51pm Wed 9 Apr 14

settheworldonfire says...

Build a bus station, but close 5 care homes...You are unbelievable D.C.C.
Build a bus station, but close 5 care homes...You are unbelievable D.C.C. settheworldonfire
  • Score: 6

7:00pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Nicholas_Till says...

As a frequent enough user, I don't have a problem with the Bus Station as it is. The timing and co-ordination of the buses' arrivals and departures strikes me as generally pretty good, and although a punter can take this for granted I take my hat off to those whose job it is to ensure this. I don't ask the Bus Station to be a Gateway to anything other than a bus, or back into North Road.

I wonder how much this proposal has to do with the interests of Durham people, or visitors, and how much with inducements of some development company touting for a juicy gig.
As a frequent enough user, I don't have a problem with the Bus Station as it is. The timing and co-ordination of the buses' arrivals and departures strikes me as generally pretty good, and although a punter can take this for granted I take my hat off to those whose job it is to ensure this. I don't ask the Bus Station to be a Gateway to anything other than a bus, or back into North Road. I wonder how much this proposal has to do with the interests of Durham people, or visitors, and how much with inducements of some development company touting for a juicy gig. Nicholas_Till
  • Score: 4

8:53pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Voice-of-reality says...

North Road does not need work - would it not be better to just get rid of the bus station all together - whilst its tone is in keeping with the present north road - if the latter is to be improved - would it not be better just to have a few extra stops around the city and rid the city of the need to have these 'congregational' point for public transport.
North Road does not need work - would it not be better to just get rid of the bus station all together - whilst its tone is in keeping with the present north road - if the latter is to be improved - would it not be better just to have a few extra stops around the city and rid the city of the need to have these 'congregational' point for public transport. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: -2

8:57pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Voice-of-reality says...

It should have read 'north road does need work' - I really must leave typing until after I have remonstrated Dudley.
It should have read 'north road does need work' - I really must leave typing until after I have remonstrated Dudley. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0

11:38am Thu 10 Apr 14

That'sLife says...

I so agree with settheworldonfire about the home closures but not with VoReality who says get rid of the bus station altogether, they were talking of putting it down by the sands, who is going to walk up from the town from there? I have great bother coming down from the Arnison Centre on a night to JUST catch my bus I am normally the last one on before it pulls out, unless the bus changes it's times I will be waiting up to an hour before one is due if I miss that one. However North Road is full of charity shops and not much else but then again show me which High Street in this country is not? Local people and tourists are more like to come to Durham City if the parking charges were a lot more reasonable, they are astronomical.
I so agree with settheworldonfire about the home closures but not with VoReality who says get rid of the bus station altogether, they were talking of putting it down by the sands, who is going to walk up from the town from there? I have great bother coming down from the Arnison Centre on a night to JUST catch my bus I am normally the last one on before it pulls out, unless the bus changes it's times I will be waiting up to an hour before one is due if I miss that one. However North Road is full of charity shops and not much else but then again show me which High Street in this country is not? Local people and tourists are more like to come to Durham City if the parking charges were a lot more reasonable, they are astronomical. That'sLife
  • Score: 0

7:22pm Thu 10 Apr 14

pilchrat says...

settheworldonfire wrote:
Build a bus station, but close 5 care homes...You are unbelievable D.C.C.
How many times can people mix up what money the council has to spend. It's NOT that black and white.

There is a capital budget and a revenue budget. The capital budget is one-off spend that has to be spent on projects like this. The government tend to stipulate that capital money has to go on capital projects. New schools, transport infrastructure, etc.

Revenue budget is for running services. For example, ongoing costs like staff wages, heating and lighting, etc. That's what the government is cutting.

So this means they can't keep the care homes open because they can't afford to run them. They could probably build new ones no problem, using capital investment, and building them is a one off cost. But running them isn't, and that's where they come unstuck.

The other thing that irks me is the way everyone assumes there was a choice. Well, there was, but the choice kind of boils down to either the care homes went, or the libraries went, or the leisure centres went, or one of the many other services they do went ... and whichever they chose to close wouldn't have gone down well with the users of that service; meaning they would be damned either way, as the public just don't get that there is less money and just point and wiggle their finger and go "Cut councillors expenses!", like that would plug the £millions hole.

Back to the point though, I know not why there are two pots of cash; ask the government. But that's how it is.

Everyone vote my comment thumbs down now please for clearing things up with some facts. Thanks!
[quote][p][bold]settheworldonfire[/bold] wrote: Build a bus station, but close 5 care homes...You are unbelievable D.C.C.[/p][/quote]How many times can people mix up what money the council has to spend. It's NOT that black and white. There is a capital budget and a revenue budget. The capital budget is one-off spend that has to be spent on projects like this. The government tend to stipulate that capital money has to go on capital projects. New schools, transport infrastructure, etc. Revenue budget is for running services. For example, ongoing costs like staff wages, heating and lighting, etc. That's what the government is cutting. So this means they can't keep the care homes open because they can't afford to run them. They could probably build new ones no problem, using capital investment, and building them is a one off cost. But running them isn't, and that's where they come unstuck. The other thing that irks me is the way everyone assumes there was a choice. Well, there was, but the choice kind of boils down to either the care homes went, or the libraries went, or the leisure centres went, or one of the many other services they do went ... and whichever they chose to close wouldn't have gone down well with the users of that service; meaning they would be damned either way, as the public just don't get that there is less money and just point and wiggle their finger and go "Cut councillors expenses!", like that would plug the £millions hole. Back to the point though, I know not why there are two pots of cash; ask the government. But that's how it is. Everyone vote my comment thumbs down now please for clearing things up with some facts. Thanks! pilchrat
  • Score: 5

11:13am Fri 11 Apr 14

rob-durham says...

When this proposal was first mooted four years ago the cost was £5 million and increase of over 20% in four years is steep. The congestion around the bus station roundabout which was being used as a justification for this activity could be solved by co-ordinating traffic lights across the city.
The replacement bus station will be open plan to allow the buses to 'run through' resulting in greater risk to pedestrians and exposure of those waiting to the elements (as was the case before enclosure of the current concourse.
The removal of the roundabout will create additional traffic delays as a junction and through road will not speed traffic flow and will be far more dangerous for pedestrians.
The 'City Master Plan' is no more than a copy and paste from the appalling County Strategy Plan which wants an increase in 12,000 of the population of Durham City. The housing referred to is intended to be 3,000 high value homes with no average priced housing. It is ridiculous that the Cabinet Member responsible is not even a resident living within 15 miles if the City.
When this proposal was first mooted four years ago the cost was £5 million and increase of over 20% in four years is steep. The congestion around the bus station roundabout which was being used as a justification for this activity could be solved by co-ordinating traffic lights across the city. The replacement bus station will be open plan to allow the buses to 'run through' resulting in greater risk to pedestrians and exposure of those waiting to the elements (as was the case before enclosure of the current concourse. The removal of the roundabout will create additional traffic delays as a junction and through road will not speed traffic flow and will be far more dangerous for pedestrians. The 'City Master Plan' is no more than a copy and paste from the appalling County Strategy Plan which wants an increase in 12,000 of the population of Durham City. The housing referred to is intended to be 3,000 high value homes with no average priced housing. It is ridiculous that the Cabinet Member responsible is not even a resident living within 15 miles if the City. rob-durham
  • Score: 1

10:30am Sun 13 Apr 14

Chippy70 says...

Yikes! The bus station again! How many more times are they going to redesign the bus station? I am old enough to remember the bus station as it was back in the 40 - 50's. After the last rebuild I always thought it a bit rediculous how you nearly have to get down on you're knees to see the number of the bus that has just pulled in. I also find it slightly confusing the way the bays are offset to the queing area making it slightly difficult knowing if you are in the correct queue for you're bus.
And as for removing the roundabout! Well that is just plain madness.
Yikes! The bus station again! How many more times are they going to redesign the bus station? I am old enough to remember the bus station as it was back in the 40 - 50's. After the last rebuild I always thought it a bit rediculous how you nearly have to get down on you're knees to see the number of the bus that has just pulled in. I also find it slightly confusing the way the bays are offset to the queing area making it slightly difficult knowing if you are in the correct queue for you're bus. And as for removing the roundabout! Well that is just plain madness. Chippy70
  • Score: 0

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