What to expect from Durham's new hi-tech bus station
Plans have been lodged to demolish Durham Bus Station to make way for a new transport hub.
Earlier this year, Durham County Council (DCC) revealed designs for the new transport facility in North Road.
Plans include a two-storey mezzanine area overlooking the passenger waiting zone, CCTV and extra security measures.
The layout was developed in response to feedback from a consultation last year which identified safety and reducing fear of crime as a priority.
Earlier this month, DCC lodged proposals with its planning department to knock down the dated bus station and build the new facility.
According to a Design and Access Statement, the move was prompted by issues at the current station which is housed in buildings dating from the late 1960s to the early 1970s.
Issues range from “failing infrastructure” and “insufficient vehicle manoeuvring and pedestrian circulation space” to “poor vehicle to pedestrian visibility”at the site.
The planning document goes on to say: “Due to the failing and dated infrastructure the bus station, offices and retail units do not offer an energy efficient environment.
“DCC have recently declared a climate state of emergency and it is essential that steps are taken to upgrade or replace existing infrastructure in order to decrease the ongoing burden on the environment.”
The new station has been designed with a range of eco-friendly features to reduce emissions including thermal insulation, specialist lighting, solar panels and space for top-up charging points to support increased use of electric buses.
The station would also boast office space, a covered canopy over bus boarding areas at the rear, accessible toilets, baby changing facilities, extra seats at each stand and dedicated wheelchair waiting spaces.
During demolition works, all bus services will be moved on-street with temporary bus stop locations and timetables advertised in advance.
DCC’s cabinet member for Economic Regeneration, Coun Carl Marshall, outlined the council’s vision for the scheme in January 2020.
He said: “Ultimately, our aim is to create a modern and welcoming transport hub that fits the historic nature of Durham City and shows we are very much open for business.
“We want to provide residents with a safe and attractive space, while ensuring visitors to the city get the best first impression possible.
“High-quality transport infrastructure is vital for a prosperous economy and a key factor for businesses considering investing in an area.
“Our plans for Durham Bus Station are part of a wider vision to improve transport links and enhance towns and villages across the county.”
A decision on the plans is expected by July following a period of consultation.
Comments can be made by writing to the council before Monday, April 27.
For more information, visit the DCC’s planning portal and search reference: DM/20/00912/FPA