Durham County Council is currently installing the £2.5 million SCOOT system which will see traffic lights placed on a reconfigured Leazes Bowl roundabout. These follow lights installed on Gilesgate roundabout earlier in the year as part of a system which will result in easier journeys in the future. Improvements are also being made to both pedestrian and cycling facilities.
In order to complete the next stage of the works there will be significant restrictions on those travelling to and from the direction of New Elvet Bridge and motorists are being asked to consider alternative routes. This stage will start on Monday, 22 August and last for up to six weeks.
This phase of works was initially scheduled to last for ten weeks – spanning the summer holidays. However the duration has been minimised by carrying out a lot of this work within earlier phases, reducing the most disruptive part of the scheme as much as possible.
The restrictions will mean that people travelling eastbound on the A690 will not be able to turn right onto New Elvet Bridge after crossing Milburngate Bridge – instead being diverted up and round Gilesgate roundabout.
Those approaching Leazes Bowl roundabout from New Elvet Bridge will not be able to turn right towards Gilesgate Roundabout and will be diverted via Claypath instead.
While this stage of the work is ongoing, several bus services will be using different routes and members of the public are advised to check with their bus operator.
In order to help people travelling from the south of the city to Old Elvet, the restriction on turning right onto the street before reaching New Elvet Bridge will be lifted for the duration of this phase.
The works are the last phase before the resurfacing of the area which will complete the major works needed for the scheme.
Adrian White, head of transport and contract services, said: “We’re extremely grateful to everyone for their continued patience while we carry out these vital improvements which promise easier journeys in the future. We’ve now reached the most disruptive part of the works but, by constantly revising and adapting our approach to help the public, we’ve been able to reduce this stage by a month.”
With a world-class summer celebration of culture underway across the county, and a range of events running in and around the city, residents are being encouraged not to miss out but are asked to leave extra time for journeys and consider using the council’s park and ride service.
Cllr Neil Foster, Cabinet member for economic regeneration and culture, said: “There’s an array of amazing events happening across the city this summer so please don’t be put off by the improvement works. With the Durham Remembers programme, Open Treasure at the Cathedral, a series of family activities at the newly refurbished Wharton Park and the Durham Business Improvement District putting on a range of events in the city centre, Durham is very much open for business.”
Gilesgate works have now been completed, with the exception of some short-term resurfacing work later in the year. The traffic lights are working but have been optimised to help people travelling through the ongoing improvements on Leazes Bowl roundabout meaning traffic is temporarily slower for those heading into Durham from the A690.
People can see full details at which includes links to information about bus services, 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.
Once installed, the new traffic lights will be coordinated with those in place on the Gilesgate and Milburngate roundabouts 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.