Traffic jam hotspot set for roadworks to make driving into Durham easier

Work has begun to put in new signals to free up traffic at a busy junction on a major route in and out of a city centre.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 12:11 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd September 2019, 11:20 pm
The busy route in Gilesgate is at the centre of plans to improve access to shops and free up traffic.

Durham County Council has started work to reduce congestion in Dragonville, in Gilesgate, Durham, as well as provide access to shops.

Over recent years, the area has seen a range of new developments including the Durham City Retail Park, which has meant there has been an increase in the number of vehicles using the A181, Dragon Lane and Sunderland Road.

To reduce congestion caused by the increased traffic, a continuous link between Renny’s Lane, Damson Way and A181 will be created through the introduction of a link road, between Renny’s Lane and Damson Way, and a signalised junction between Damson Way and A181 Sherburn Road.

With a further retail park being developed opposite Tesco Extra and another approved for the former Kerry Food site, the link road will provide access to the new retail area and industrial units whilst reducing journey times on the surrounding highway network.

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Utility diversion works have begun on the project, with construction of the link road planned to start later in September.

Construction of the signalised junction is likely to begin soon, with the link road and signalised junction expected to be completed by the Summer.

Coun Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “Dragonville has become a thriving part of County Durham.

“Not only does the area already provide employment for over 3,500 people, it has the potential to create further job opportunities in the near future.

“These works will not only reduce congestion and delays on the highway network but will also improve air quality and provide better facilities for walking and cycling.”

Dave Wafer, strategic traffic manager at the council, said: “As the majority of the link road will be constructed off-highway, there should be little impact on the surrounding highway network once work begins.

“However, when construction begins on the signalised junction, there will be some unavoidable disruption which will be minimised where possible.

“We would like to thank the public for their patience during this time.”

For further information on the works, visit