A coffee shop and trees have been flattened by bulldozers as demolition work at a County Durham bus station has begun.

On Monday (December 12), HGVs were spotted at Saddler Street in Bishop Auckland as work continued to renovate the town's bus station in a multi-million-pound project. 

During the renovations, The Hut coffee shop and some of the greenery around the old station area were flattened, which caused people who are nostalgic about Bishop Auckland great sadness. 

The Northern Echo: A fence has been erected at the old Bishop Auckland bus station A fence has been erected at the old Bishop Auckland bus station (Image: IAN SANDERSON-SIMPSON)

Images of the renovations were taken by Northern Echo camera club member Ian Sanderson-Smith, who noted his sadness at seeing bulldozers in Bishop Auckland. 

The Hut closed at the start of September to accommodate a redevelopment project at the transport site. 

At the time, the owners of The Hut said: "It's with a heavy heart, great sadness, topped with a lot of anxiety and worry for our family and that of Clare's, that we will be closing our doors in Bishop Auckland Bus Station for the last time on Saturday, September 2.

The Northern Echo: HGVs on the site at Bishop AucklandHGVs on the site at Bishop Auckland (Image: IAN SANDERSON-SIMPSON)

"Don't be strangers between now and then, we would love to see you for maybe one last time down there.

"As always, thank you for your custom, support and friendship."

Throughout the works, the existing bus station in Bishop Auckland will be demolished to make way for the redevelopment on Saddler Street along with new small buildings, a bus operator’s facility, public toilets and a small café kiosk.

Council officers deemed the old bus station - a collection of shelters - run down and in need of maintenance and is not of the quality expected for a modern transport system in an expanding town centre. 

The Northern Echo: Internal Towards Newgate StreetInternal Towards Newgate Street (Image: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL)

Durham County Council said there were also insufficient passenger facilities, with dated and inadequate toilets, and little shelter from inclement weather. 

In 2020, the council successfully bid for £11.8 million of funding from the Future High Streets Fund to improve Bishop Auckland's transport and parking facilities.

The development is a part of the council’s wider plans to bring new life to the town centre through a range of regeneration-led improvements, focusing on leisure and recreation.

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This includes repurposing and reopening vacant properties, walking and cycling improvements and improving public spaces in the town.

Temporary bus stops have been put up during the demolition work.

Details of where to board each bus will be on display in the current shelters with further information available online.

There may also be minor changes to service timetables during this time.