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Durham City delays possible for SCOOT works

203The next phase of a major scheme to improve journey times on the main route through Durham City starts on Monday (April 11).

Durham County Council is currently installing the £2.5 million SCOOT system which will see traffic lights placed on the Gilesgate and Leazes Bowl roundabouts, resulting in easier journeys in the future. Improvements to both pedestrian and cycling facilities are also being carried out on both roundabouts during the work.

As the current work, on Gilesgate roundabout, reaches the final stages, road closures and diversions will be in place overnight for three periods in April and May to allow resurfacing and traffic signal installation to take place. This will mean the roundabout and sections of the A690 either side of it will be closed between 8pm and 6am as follows:

  • Sunday, 17 April to Thursday, 21 April and Sunday, 24 April to Thursday, 28 April – the A690 will be closed eastbound from Leazes Bowl roundabout across Gilesgate roundabout and up to the Belmont interchange. There will be no access to Gilesgate Bank or Claypath from the roundabout. The road will remain open westbound from Gilesgate Bank through to Durham City.
  • Sunday, 1 May to Thursday, 5 May – the A690 westbound towards Durham City will be closed from the Belmont Interchange to Gilesgate roundabout. The road will remain open eastbound.

During the overnight closures traffic will be diverted via Shincliffe.

Whilst the Leazes Bowl roundabout aspect begins on Monday, 11 April, disruption is most likely from Monday, 18 April, when the second phase of this work begins

The first phase will see various lane restrictions on the approaches and across the roundabout. To assist people entering and leaving Durham the westbound restrictions will be removed in the morning rush hour and the eastbound restrictions will be removed during the evening rush hour. All lanes over Milburngate Bridge will remain open.

From Monday, 18 April, however, all three approaches and the roundabout itself will be reduced to single lanes for six weeks. The bus stops next to Leazes Bowl roundabout will be relocated to Claypath and there may also be additional restrictions as needed during this phase of the work.

As a result, motorists are being advised to consider alternative routes, public transport or park and ride services during this period.

As well as the installation of traffic lights, the improvements to Leazes Bowl will see the configuration of the roundabout changed with the number of lanes being increased. Paths will be widened with dropped kerbs installed to improve accessibility and two new eastbound bus stops will be installed, set back from the carriageway.

The work will be carried out in a number of phases over the next 25 weeks to help reduce the impact on people travelling through the city as much as possible. Plans detailing future phases of the work will be publicised closer to the time.

Adrian White, Durham County Council’s head of transport and contract services, said: “Although every effort is being made to reduce the impact of the works on the public, due to the work being on the main route through the city we’ve now reached the point where disruption is inevitable.

“We’re continuing to work hard to minimise this disruption but we would encourage everyone to consider taking an alternative route if possible or using public transport during this phase of the work.

“We’re extremely grateful to everyone for their patience while we carry out these improvements. The SCOOT system promises to improve journeys for those traveling through the city as well as making life easier for pedestrians.”

People can see full details at either www.durham.gov.uk/LeazesBowl or www.durham.gov.uk/Gilesgate which also includes changes to bus services, links to traffic cameras that people can check before setting off and tips to avoid delays. Motorists are also advised to keep up to date with the latest on social media using #LeazesBowl and #Gilesgate.

The work at Gilesgate roundabout is expected to last until May with the work at Leazes Bowl finished by autumn 2016.

Once installed, the new traffic lights will be coordinated with those already in place on the Milburngate roundabout to better manage the flow of vehicles through the city. This will mean much more predictable travel through Durham City at peak times making journeys easier for motorists and helping bus operators to plan services.

It will also enable the council to more effectively deal with the impacts of incidents and planned events on the road network. The council hopes to start using the SCOOT system in 2017.

By admin