The public is invited to express their opinions on proposals for a new bus station and enhanced car parking facilities in Bishop Auckland.
These plans are part of an initiative by Durham County Council, which received over £11 million from the Future High Streets Fund in 2020 to enhance the town’s sustainable transportation and parking infrastructure.
The grant proposal includes replacing the current bus station with a higher-quality one to encourage more people to visit the town center. As a result of various regeneration initiatives, visitor numbers to Bishop Auckland are anticipated to rise significantly, necessitating additional parking spaces to meet their needs.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “Plans to improve sustainable transport and parking in Bishop Auckland are key aspects of our ambitious proposals to regenerate the town. We are committed to ensuring it becomes a thriving and attractive hub to everyone who lives and works in, and visits, the area.
“To make sure our plans work for residents, shoppers and businesses, we would encourage as many people as possible to have their say on this consultation. Their feedback can help to bring about positive changes in this community and we want everyone to be part of this exciting journey.”
Plans for the bus station include eight bus stands, improved passenger information boards and seating areas, as well as three entrances and exits and a kiosk area. It would also see improved facilities for passengers, such as an accessible toilet, parent and child facilities and a Changing Places toilet.
In line with the council’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, it is proposed that sustainable drainage planters and a water harvesting system will be installed alongside the use of photovoltaic panels to produce energy.
Meanwhile, the council is proposing a new surface level car park that will offer 120 spaces, including electric vehicle charging point bays and spaces for blue badge holders, wheelchair accessible vehicles and motorcycles.
As well as improved connectivity to the town centre and Newgate Centre, trees and planters will be placed throughout the car park to create a more welcoming and sustainable environment.
The council is also exploring opportunities to make the existing Newgate Centre car park more user-friendly.
Residents and businesses can take part in the consultation no later than Sunday 12 March by visiting www.durham.gov.uk/consultation.
A series of drop-in events will also be held at Bishop Auckland Town Hall for people to find out more about the plans and have their say. These are taking place from 10.30am until 3.30pm on Thursday 2, Friday 3, and Saturday 4 March.
Feedback from the consultation will be used by the council to inform its planning application for the bus station and car park.