Works which will improve disabled access in the heart of Durham City begin next week.

Durham County Council is to widen footpaths at Owengate, the cobbled road which leads to Palace Green, in order to improve disabled access to Palace Green Library, Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle.

The works are part of a two year programme of £1.84m investment by the council, to improve roads and footpaths across Durham City.

While the improvements are being carried out, the council will also be carrying out work on behalf of Durham University which will allow it to upgrade its ICT systems.

The works begin on Monday 24 July and will continue until September.

Owengate will be closed to both pedestrians and vehicles every weekday from 8.30am to 4.30pm while the work is being carried out.

Pedestrian access to the library, cathedral and castle will still be possible during these times via Dun Cow Lane.

The Cathedral Bus which normally accesses Palace Green via Owengate will not be able to do so while work is taking place, with it continuing from Saddler Street down North Bailey and stopping at the rear of the Cathedral.

A temporary stop will be in place at Dun Cow Lane.

John Reed, the council’s head of technical services, said: “Palace Green really is a fantastic setting with the magnificent Cathedral drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year.

“It is therefore really important that we ensure that access to it is as good as it can be for both able bodied and, in particular, disabled visitors.

“We have planned this work to keep disruption to a minimum with pedestrian access still possible via Dun Cow Lane and a temporary stop there for the Cathedral Bus.

“Owengate will also be fully open at weekends when more people are visiting Palace Green, as well as every evening.

“We are also minimising disruption by carrying out the work which will benefit the university at the same time.”

Further information about the work can be found at