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£2.8m awarded for active travel in Durham City

May 10, 2023 | Leisure & Lifestyle

Successful funding bids are paving the way for improvements to sustainable travel across County Durham.

Durham County Council has been awarded £2.8 million from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund to create sustainable transport infrastructure in Durham City.

The money will allow the authority to deliver a series of walking and cycling improvements at three locations to create, upgrade and maintain cycling and pedestrian routes in the city.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “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.”

Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair, North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “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. This latest development is wonderful news and will make walking, wheeling and cycling in Durham City an appealing, sustainable choice for many residents.

“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 programme of works will include improving and connecting the existing pedestrian and cyclist footways links between Old Pit Lane, Newton Hall, and Rivergreen at Aykley Heads.

Funding will also be used to carry out walking and cycling improvements between Sniperley roundabout and County Hall via Southfield Way and the B6532.

The final area where improvements will be made is Whitechurch junction on the A177 Stockton Road.

The A177 works will make the road safer for pedestrians, with improved crossing facilities to Durham University. The council will continue to look at ways to improve cyclist provision along the A177 corridor and wider city centre.

Construction for the Southfield Way, B6532, and A177 is programmed to take place during the school summer holidays to reduce any impact on road users.

Work in all locations is currently scheduled for completion by September.

Transport Decarbonisation Minister, Jesse Norman, said: “It is great to see that £2.8million of the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund is being used for sustainable transport in Durham, to improve and maintain cycling and walking routes around the city.

“Investing in active travel is a transformative way to improve health and air quality, cut carbon emissions and support local economic growth.”

The Transforming Cities Fund Programme provides £198 million of capital investment in public transport, sustainable transport and public places for the North East. It is an ambitious programme of investment which has been designed to transform and improve the local economy, environment and society.

The North East Transforming Cities Fund Programme provides investment in strategic bus corridors, walking and cycling routes around towns and city centres, improvements to rail station gateways, Park and Ride and local Metro services through the delivery of the Metro Flow project.