Northern and western relief roads for the city of Durham feature in the county council’s local plan consultation.
A Northern Relief Road connecting the A691 and A690 would feature a new crossing of the River Wear. The council says the road, which has been mooted ever since the 1970s, will allow vehicular capacity on Milburngate Bridge in the city centre to be reduced, providing more space for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. Milburngate Bridge forms part of a through road across the city centre, carrying more than 40,000 vehicles a day.
The Northern Relief Road would lie within protected Green Belt land but Durham says there is “no alternative means of achieving the benefits resulting from removing traffic from the city centre and therefore exceptional circumstances have been demonstrated”.
The Western Relief Road would connect the A691 at Sniperley park-and-ride roundabout to the B6302 Broom Lane, running parallel with the A167.
It would also be located in Green Belt. The council says there is “no alternative means of addressing the congestion on the A167 and therefore exceptional circumstances have been demonstrated”.
The plan also allocates a site for a rail station at Horden (Peterlee) on the Durham Coast Line, and safeguards the 21-mile Leamside Line for future re-opening. The line was mothballed in 1992 but the track has since been removed and the signalling and embankments have deteriorated to a point that Durham says the latest estimated cost of re-opening is over £300m.
Consultation on the preferred options, a Durham city transport delivery plan prepared by consultant SYSTRA, and parking and accessibility standards, will run to 3 August.
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