The completion date for a major refurbishment of North Road in Durham City is to be extended.

The improvement work is part of a £1.84 million programme being carried out by Durham County Council to upgrade roads and footpaths around Durham City over the next two years. As well as improving the appeal of the area with the newly laid paths and road surfaces, the scheme will see the highway on North Road realigned as well as making the area safer and easier to access.

Work carried out so far has uncovered an old, reinforced concrete road below the surface of the street as well as six coal chutes outside of the former cinema building, which have resulted in the improvements taking longer than expected.

Extra resources have been put in place for the project, both during the day and overnight to help minimise the delay, which will see work extended until May 2017.

John Reed, head of technical services, said: “Unfortunately this scheme is taking longer than anticipated due to unexpected issues. In response we’ve added additional resources, including working overnight, but it will still mean that the completion date will need to be extended.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the businesses, bus services and users of North Road for their continued patience while we carry out these improvements.”

Diversions to buses and the relocation of the taxi ranks will continue for the duration of the works. More details on the changes can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/northroad.