Durham City’s new bus station will open this weekend after being delayed by half a year.

Durham County Council has confirmed the new Durham Bus Station will open to the public on Sunday, January 7.

It was initially due to open in Summer 2023 but was delayed until November 2023.

The facility, which is located on the site of the former bus station on North Road, is touted as "a modern transport hub that offers a safe and welcoming space for residents and visitors alike" by the council.

The Northern Echo: Durham City's new bus station

The new bus station has been designed to increase the overall space for passengers and has improved facilities including segregated toilets, a Changing Places toilet, improved information displays and upgraded seating in the passenger waiting area.

There is more space for reversing buses and the exit onto North Road has improved visibility for pedestrians and buses.

Local businesses have complained of the "chaos" that the redevelopment has unleashed on the street, with temporary bus stops lining North Road for nearly three years. 

A crowdfunding campaign to 'Save the Bean', well-liked cafe BeanSocial, attributed some of the street's financial woes as well as the bus station revamp and delayed reopening. 

The former bus station on North Road shut in February 2023 for demolition. 

The Northern Echo: Durham City's new bus station

Explaining the reason for the delays, Durham County Council admitted the work has been complex. 

Last month, Mark Jackson, Durham County Council’s head of transport and contract services, told The Northern Echo: “The new Durham Bus Station has been an innovative yet complex project and we know bus users are keen for it to open. 

“Testing of the bus station and the completion of final minor works delayed the original planned opening in November. However, we anticipate opening the bus station at the beginning of the new year and will be delighted to welcome passengers when this happens.”

The Northern Echo: Durham City's new bus station

The £10.4m bus station redevelopment also includes a two-storey office area where council security, cleaning and neighbourhood warden staff, as well as representatives from Durham Constabulary and Arriva, will be based.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are delighted and excited to be opening the new Durham Bus Station to the public this Sunday.

“Providing high-quality facilities, the station will serve as a major transport hub for both the city and the county.

“We hope it will help attract both shoppers and tourists to the city, supporting our independent businesses and our cultural attractions.

“We also hope it will encourage people to make more journeys by bus rather than car, promoting more sustainable travel.”

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The works have been part-funded by the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund.

Cllr Martin Gannon, chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “The new Durham Bus Station is an important project within the region’s Transforming Cities Fund programme and it will be brilliant to see it open.

“The station is at the heart of the city and will provide a welcome place for passengers to connect with our local and regional bus network. Congratulations to Durham County Council on this ambitious project – this is a very welcome addition to the city which will further boost the North East’s transport network.”

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Businesses on North Road are being made aware of the station’s opening date. Stopping arrangements for buses on North Road and Millburngate will be revised, and the temporary stops on North Road will no longer be in use and will be removed.

Currently, signs are being put in place at the temporary bus stops on North Road to outline where each bus service will be in the new station.

There will be small changes to the times of the Arriva 43 service, and to times and routes of Gateshead Central services. Park and Ride services will resume serving Millburngate. Early buses leaving before 6am will leave from Stand A on North Road.