Parking-ban bid at castle and cathedral

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UNIVERSITY chiefs have defended plans to ban car parking around Durham Castle and Cathedral.

Public parking on Palace Green, which sits between the two World Heritage Sites, is already prohibited.

The castle was taken over by the university in 1837 and than 100 students still use the keep as accommodation.

Earlier this year, motorists were glad to see the back of the rising bollard in Durham’s Market Place, which had been there since 2002. Now another could appear at Owengate at the entrance to the castle and cathedral.

However, the new bollard will be manned, unlike its infamous predecessor which struck the bottom of vehicles on many occasions. It could also have CCTV monitoring.

The University of Durham says the new parking proposals have received overwhelming support in a staff survey and that the plans are to protect the environment and the beauty of the site. It has submitted a planning application for changes to Palace Green, including the new bollard.

Pro-vice chancellor, Professor Ray Hudson, said: “We are also doing much to ensure that the beauty of our World Heritage Site is enhanced and maintained for those staff and students who live and work there – and for the wider community from Durham and around the world.

“This includes working with the county council and cathedral to reduce traffic and parking to the essential minimum of the Peninsula Bailey and Palace Green.

“Access to Palace Green will continue for special events and there will continue to be access for the cathedral bus, deliveries, taxi drop-off and of course, emergency services and disabled badge holders.

“The changes will help the university meet its environmental commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2013-14.

“The reduction in cars, vans and lorries will also significantly enhance the experience of visitors to Palace Green, Durham Castle and the cathedral and ensure that Palace Green is an increasingly pleasant place for our staff and students to live, work and study.”