A new footpath which will improve access to Durham train station for pedestrians and cyclists has been officially opened.

Durham County Council has created a new shared use pedestrian and cycle path which runs alongside the A691 Framwellgate Peth, from County Hall to the station.

New pedestrian access to the station has also been created via steps just North of the railway bridge on Framwellgate Peth.

New street lights have also been introduced in the area in addition to the planting of new trees and woodland wildflowers.

The existing pedestrian and cycle route along the station side of the A691 Framwellgate Peth has also been resurfaced.  

The work has been jointly funded by the council and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Support has also come from walking and cycling charity Sustrans, Virgin Trains East Coast and the North East Combined Authority.

Council chairman Cllr Bill Kellett cut a ribbon to officially open the new path at a ceremony attended by representatives from the various groups.

Cllr Carl Marshall, the council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “Durham train station is of vital importance as it opens up our city and county to people who want to come here to work, shop or enjoy a day at some of our magnificent visitor attractions.

“This new path improves links between the station and ongoing and future developments in Durham, which can only help us to attract further investment and employers.

“By encouraging people to cycle and walk, it also has the potential to reduce the amount of traffic on the city’s roads which will bring about reduced congestion, better air quality and improvements in people’s health.”

David Land, North East LEP board member, said: “A main objective of the North East LEP’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund Capital Programme is to improve cycling and walking links to and from key rail stations in the area.

“This will enable them to become sustainable travel hubs, enhancing access to employment, training and educational opportunities. 

“We are delighted to see the eastern side of this cycle route scheme now complete, with the western side expected to be completed by the end of August 2017.

“When finished this scheme will greatly improve accessibility in central Durham.”

Work will now start on the widening of the footpath leading up to the station, on the Wharton Park side of Framwellgate Peth.

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