Durham’s footpaths and roads blocked off for the UK’s largest light festival

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Several road and footpath closures will be closed, blocking access to Durham’s city centre during Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival, which returns to Durham today and runs until Sunday 21st November.

Footpath closures will happen every day of the event and run from 4pm until 2am. These include:

  • All footpaths to the western side of Durham Cathedral between Prebends Bridge and Bella Italia
  • Riverside Path from the Counts House to Elvet Bridge
  • Elvet Bridge steps to the Riverside
  • The steps at Bella Italia
  • Drury Lane
  • Windy Gap

Access to the rear of Hatfield College will also be blocked off, along with the steps from under Kingsgate Bridge to Bow Lane.

Ticket holders and pedestrians exiting the Bailey will be able to access some of the footpaths during the closures, including:

  • The footpath between Walkergate and Market Place to the rear of St Nicholas Church.
  • The footpaths between Back Silver Street, Fowlers Yard and Silver Street
  • Kingsgate Footbridge

The University has informed students that Gold Passes will be provided for those who live within the Bailey in University accommodation, and to those whose access is deemed as essential. However, gold pass holders are warned that there still may be queues and delays over the four days, and so it is advised they allow extra time for their journey.

Four post boxes in the city centre have also been closed during the event. Anyone wishing to send mail in Durham may either use the post office in Market Square or post boxes located further from the city centre.

Between 1pm and 2am on each day of the festival, the road closures will apply to all non-emergency vehicles, including bikes.

“We strongly advise you use public transport or leave your car at one of Durham County Council’s many Park and Ride sites.”

Lumiere Website

Elvet Bridge, Saddler Street, Market Place, Silver Street, and Framwellgate Bridge, as well as Owengate, North Bailey, South Bailey, Bow Lane, Dun Cow Lane, and Prebends Bridge will remain closed through the festival.

Several roads will be partially closed between the 18th and 21st November between 2pm and 2am, including:

  • Millburngate from A690 to and including the junction with Framwellgate Waterside (except for taxis and access to and egress from River Walk Car Parks)
  • Framwellgate Waterside between Millburngate and the car parks at River Walk (except for vehicles accessing the River Walk car parks). 
  • North Road from Millburngate, including the western section of Framwellgate Bridge and Crossgate to the junction with South Street
  • North Road from junction A690 to Millburngate (including Neville Street)
  • Millburngate between Framwellgate Waterside and North Road

These 12 hour daily closures will also occur on:

  • South Street extending northwards from its junction with Grove Street except permit holders/resident access from 4pm each event day.
  • Sutton Street between its junctions with A690 and North Road (except for access, buses & taxis)
  • Framwellgate Waterside between Frankland Lane the parapets of Millburngate Bridge
  • Freemans Place between Walkergate and the access to the Walkergate Car Park
  • Claypath from Providence Row to Prince Bishop Car Park Roundabout
  • Walkergate from A690 to Fowlers Yard
  • Claypath one-way e/b slip from A690
  • Back Silver Street / Fowlers Yard

In anticipation of the delays, Lumiere said, “We strongly advise you use public transport or leave your car at one of Durham County Council’s many Park and Ride sites.” These sites will provide up to 6000 parking spaces for visitors to use, with shuttle buses running throughout the event until 23:30 every day.

For those needing disabled access, all Durham Park & Ride facilities have designated blue badge parking, and all buses are equipped with accessible facilities. For city-centre parking, visitors with blue badges can park in any on-street parking spaces free of charge, for any amount of time, on any road that is not closed for the event.

Visitors who are heading to Lumiere with tickets must also bear in mind that Elvet Bridge will be exit only. Entrances will be located on Framwellgate bridge and Claypath. A map summarising the road and footpath closures can be found on Durham County Council’s website.

Image: Naomi Clarke

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