Construction of a state-of-the-art bus station in the heart of Durham City is now well underway.
Durham County Council is developing the project to provide new first-class facilities on the site of the current bus station, which serves as a major transport hub for both the city and county.
Following the completion of the groundworks and foundations, the steel frame of the new station is now being put up, with the project on track to be completed next year.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are very pleased to be making such good progress on a new bus station for Durham City.
“The development is going to be a huge asset to the city centre, with the light and airy setting providing a warm welcome to those visiting Durham.
“Offering more space and access for passengers and increased safety for buses, we hope the new station will encourage more people to use public transport and travel sustainably. This supports us in our efforts to reduce carbon emissions across the county.
“It will also help to attract more people into the city, supporting its independent retailers and hospitality sector, and indoor and outdoor markets as they continue their recovery from the effects of the pandemic.”
Work on the new bus station began last year with the demolition of the old building.
There were some initial delays due to additional unforeseen works which emerged during the course of the demolition, as well as some difficulties sourcing some of the materials required for the work to be in keeping with the conservation area.
However, these have since been resolved and the council is working towards completing the scheme next year.
To help minimise the impact on local traders, signs have been put in place to advise passing motorists that North Road remains open for business.
A number of bus services have also been reallocated to reduce crowding at certain stands on North Road, making it easier to access retail stores and hospitality.
Cllr Scott added: “This new, first-class bus station will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of North Road, attracting additional investment and more trade in the area.
“We are doing everything we can to minimise disruption during the works. We would also like to thank everyone for their patience while we redevelop the station into a state-of-the-art facility.”
The new station has been designed to increase the overall space for passengers and improve visibility and safety for buses leaving the station.
This includes increasing the reversing area for bus leaving bays and widening the exit onto North Road to improve visibility, with additional pedestrian access also being created.
Inside, there will also be improved facilities including parent and child toilets and a changing places unit, as well as improved seating and space in the passenger waiting area. The plans also include a two-storey area with office space.
For the latest updates on the bus station visit www.durham.gov.uk/durhambusstation.