County Durham Labour has outlined the considerable community impact that the regeneration of Durham Bus Station will deliver.
Plans have been approved that will see the station, on North Road, torn down and a new attractive modern transport hub built in its place.
Labour members from the communities surrounding the city centre explained how the project will not only help boost connectivity between the communities surrounding the city, it will also help improve an area of Durham that has come in for criticism in recent years.
Deerness ward councillor, Marion Wilson, said: “Labour has worked incredibly hard in recent years to help secure and drive forward this project, so seeing it all come to fruition now is absolutely fantastic.
“Alongside the people of Durham City and County Durham, we have been desperate to secure a project that will spearhead the regeneration of this part of Durham. The old bus station is, sadly, beyond its sell-by date and does not meet the needs of a modern, vibrant city like Durham.”
Cllr John Turnbull, of Brandon Ward, added: “Labour is focused on protecting the history and heritage of Durham City, while also helping it evolve to meet the needs of a modern, developing society. The new bus station is an example of how we are committed to working with people to secure and progress projects that will provide maximum benefits to our people, our city and our businesses.”
The new building will increase space for passengers, provide more light and will be a more welcoming environment. It will feature enhanced facilities, such as improved toilets and child changing provision, more seating and space for passengers to relax between trips.
Its green credentials are incredible – the bus station will have state of the art photo voltaic glass generating electricity and be equipped with the infrastructure required to accommodate electric buses, making it one of the most energy efficient bus stations in the country!
Durham County Council planners approved the new concepts, following a six-month consultation exercise with users and residents. The new design will reflect the outcomes of that consultation as well as provide increased visibility and safety for buses entering and leaving the station.
Cllr and. Ex Chairman of Council Bill Kellett of Sherburn ward, said outlined a considerable environmental impact: “As we strive to reduce our carbon output as a society, we must make public transport a more viable option. The New Bus Station certainly does that – the more people using public transport, the more we can invest in it and the more we can invest in it, the less car we will have on our roads.
“Despite the considerable and wide-ranging impact of COVID, Labour remains focused on improving our environment. Not only with projects like this to provide people with more transport options, but via the extensive planting we have secured throughout the city, making it even more attractive for the people who live, work and visit the city.”
Demolition of the current building will begin next year, with construction starting in the Spring. DCC plans to open the new-look facility to the public by Summer 2022.
Cllr Paul Taylor, of Brandon ward, added: “Durham Labour continues to deliver for the people of the county. This project has only been possible because we are a Labour-run Council. We are committed to investing in transport across our communities
“Our thanks must go to Alderman Phil Stoddard of Ushaw Moor who campaigned and lobbied and to all the people who engaged with the consultation – you spoke, we listened and now we’re delivering.”
Alderman Stoddart said: “I am sure that this project will kickstart the North Road regeneration our historic city needs. Good transport infrastructure is required for a prosperous economy and a key factor for businesses considering investing in our ever improving city.”