Durham City receives £2.8 million to improve walking and cycling routes

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Durham County Council has received £2.8 million worth of funding to improve walking and cycling routes in Durham City.

The improvements will take place over summer in three locations across Durham, and are expected to be finished by September 2023.

Councillor Martin Gannon, chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said that, “I am pleased that these schemes are progressing as part of the North East Transforming Cities Fund Programme. Our ambitious programme is one of the largest in the country and centres on delivering transformational change for local people.

“Encouraging greater use of active travel will help us to realise many of our environmental ambitions – driving down carbon emissions and improving air quality locally while at the same time improving public health.

“I’m pleased to see this development take a positive step forward.”

The news comes after air quality in several areas of Durham was considered to be “dangerously polluted”. This particularly impacted spaces popular with students, such as Gilesgate, Neville’s Cross, and Church Street, which has exceeded nitrogen dioxide limits set by the National Air Quality Objective every year between 2011 and 2019.

Encouraging greater use of active travel will help us to realise many of our environmental ambitions

Martin Gannon

Existing footpaths and cycle paths will be improved and connected in the areas between Old Pit Lane, Newton Hall, and Rivergreen at Aykley Heads.

Similar improvements will be made between Sniperley roundabout and County Hall, which will connect with Southfield Way and the B6532.

Crossing facilities will be improved on the Whitechurch junction on the A177 Stockton Road, allowing easier access to Durham University’s Science Site. This will increase safety for both cyclists and pedestrians in the Stockton Road area.

The funding comes from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund, which provides £198 million of capital investment in public transport, sustainable transport, and public places in the North East.

Crossing facilities will be improved on the Whitechurch junction on the A177 Stockton Road, connecting to the University

Councillor Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said that, “We are delighted to have been successful in our bid for funding. This will help us to make significant improvements to travel around the city.

“It will offer more active travel choices to those who live, work in, and visit the city, benefitting people’s health and wellbeing, as well as the environment.

“Hopefully, the enhancements will encourage residents to make the most of their local area and make more active choices with their commutes.”

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