A Durham City bus route has begun to run into the new Mount Oswald estate to provide local residents with more sustainable travel options for reaching the heart of the city.
The S1 Scarlet Band service is now running from Mount Oswald, along New Elvet, Claypath and Sherburn Road before reaching its destination at Gilesgate Tesco and then making the return journey.
The cost of the extended service, which will operate from Mondays to Saturdays between 730am and 730pm, has been funded by the Banks Group, the Durham-headquartered firm behind the development of the Mount Oswald site, as part of its contribution towards helping to meet local sustainable transport needs.
It has been commissioned by Durham County Council and is the latest part of the Mount Oswald scheme’s overall sustainable travel plan, which is being implemented and shaped by a dedicated travel plan coordinator.
As part of the plan, residents moving into the new homes at Mount Oswald receive a travel pack containing detailed information on different travel options around the site and the city, as well as a free one month bus pass and a cycle pack to help encourage them to leave their cars at home.
A further new bus stop will be added at Mount Oswald once the student accommodation that is planned to go on the site has been built and occupied.
The extended service is part of the funding allocated by the Banks Group as part of the Mount Oswald scheme to pay for substantial improvements for the local area, which includes a substantial contribution to Durham County Council for off-site affordable housing and which paid for the extension to the Howlands Park & Ride that was completed by the family-owned firm last year.
An allocation of £250,000 has been made towards a new community building at Lowes Barns, as have contributions towards providing additional classrooms at two local schools, St Oswald’s Church of England and Durham St Margaret’s Primary.
John Ruddick, senior property development manager at The Banks Group, says: “Careful sustainable transport planning for both the site and the wider local area was a central part of the development of the wider Mount Oswald scheme.
“Taking the S1 route into Mount Oswald and creating better links is a natural move, and will encourage more people to choose this easy option for getting into the city centre.
“As the site develops, we will see further measures put in place to encourage local people to leave their cars at home, such as new footpaths and cyclepaths, and we aim to make Mount Oswald an exemplar of how sustainable transport measures should be implemented within major developments of this type.”
The Mount Oswald scheme, which was designed by Banks in support of the County Council’s vision of Durham City acting as a driver of economic growth in the county, will see around 120 people employed on site during its construction phase, with an additional 100 jobs across the supply chain and up to a further 164 permanent jobs supported by the different elements of the completed development.
The first phase of residential development on the site, which involved the building of 60 properties by David Wilson Homes, is now complete, while work on phases two and three is currently ongoing.
John Ruddick adds: “The Mount Oswald site is continuing to evolve into the high-quality development that we’d originally envisaged, and as a long-established Durham-based family business, we are proud to be taking forward an excellent scheme which will have long-term positive implications on many levels for both the city and the wider region.”
For further information on the Mount Oswald development, please visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/mount-oswald