DURHAM’S MP has slammed multi-million pound plans for a new city bus station, calling them horrible and totally inappropriate.

Roberta Blackman-Woods said Durham County Council’s £6.2m scheme would detract from the city’s historic nature and demanded planners go back to the drawing board.

“They haven’t even given a nod to the environment. It’s a case of any old thing will do.

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“They should have learned their lessons from the Market Place, which has been such a disaster.

“They need to think again. They’ve got to do better.”

Dr Blackman-Woods was speaking as the plans were publicly displayed for the first time today (Thursday, May 1).

The existing North Road roundabout would be replaced with a through road and junction and new bus station would be built on the site of Hopper House, which would be demolished.

North Road would be diverted behind North Road Methodist Church, joining the A690 near Atherton Street. The stretch cut out would then become a pedestrianised area, possibly for hosting events. The current bus station would be demolished to make way for a new flagship store, which it is hoped would support the wider regeneration of North Road, and eventually further redevelopment could take place on the other side of the street.

Dr Blackman-Woods said visitors arriving in Durham by rail would be greeted by buses’ back ends, detracting from the historic viaduct area, and a “horrible” bus station which would be “totally inappropriate for a historic city”.

The MP said she was not convinced Durham needed a new bus station and plans to call a public meeting to discuss the project and controversial plans to build student digs on the nearby former County Hospital site.

Supporters of the proposals say they would improve the area for buses, other traffic and pedestrians.

The plans went on display in the vacant former Blockbuster video shop on North Road today (Thursday, May 1).

The exhibition will continue tomorrow from noon to 6pm and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm. To comment, call 03000-262-047 or email: northroad@durham.gov.uk It is hoped the project will be completed by late 2015 or early 2016.