Major plans to redesign a town centre street by creating a new cycling and walking route are set to take a step closer.

The next phase of the Darlington Duke Street redevelopment project between the town centre and the west of the town is set to get underway in the new year.

The plans for Duke Street will continue to use the one-way traffic system and 20mph speed limit introduced in 2020, as well as adding a dedicated contraflow cycle lane on the south side of the street and widened pavements on the north side to allow for better pedestrian access.

The scheme is part of the wider £1.7m scheme funded by the Tees Valley Mayor and the Tees Valley Combined Authority which saw improvement works to Woodland Road earlier this year and the ongoing works in Outram Street.

Read more: Is this the cheapest petrol in the North East? County Durham fuel station hits 145p

The aim of the scheme is to make cycling and walking the “natural choice” for shorter journeys and is in line with Department for Transport priorities. It will also improve the wider streetscape and introduce speed tables at junctions and crossing points for pedestrians to increase safety in the area.

Work is due to begin on January 3 and will take several months due to the need to keep access open to all businesses in the street at all times and maintain pedestrian commuter routes.

The original proposal was amended following consultation with business owners and residents earlier this year, which has resulted in a slight increase in the number of parking spaces in the street from current figures – albeit in a different position – and space for disabled parking spaces.

What disruption will there be during the redevelopment? 


Vehicles will still have access using the existing one-way system and a temporary footpath will be in place so pedestrians will have access to and from businesses.

The only time the road will be closed on phase one (between Stanhope Road and Larchfield Street) will be towards the end, when resurfacing works are carried out. This work will be carried out on either a Sunday or at night. The footpaths will be completed before this is done.

The second phase of the work, from Larchfield Street to Skinnergate, is due to start in May and will follow the same arrangements.

All properties along Duke Street have been sent a letter about the planned works and the site team will work closely with owners to make sure access is maintained and disruption kept to a minimum.

Councillor Andy Keir, cabinet member for local services, said: “Duke Street is a thriving hub of independent businesses that welcome customers days and night, as well as a key link road between the town centre and the west of the town, as well as Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College.

“This project is about maintaining that atmosphere and making Duke Street one of the key entrances to the town centre, particular for those on foot or who are travelling by bike. We are committed to making it easier to get about the town without using a car and projects like this are so important as we look to reduce the town’s carbon output.

“Every effort will be made to keep disruption to a minimum while these works are carried out and I know the site team are committed to working with business owners where needed.”

Read next: 

If you want to read more stories, why not subscribe to your Northern Echo for as little as £1.25 a week. Click here