CONCERNS have been raised about plans to re-route buses along a residential street in a bid to cut service delays.

Arriva wants to change the route of its buses travelling from Durham to Coxhoe so they will travel down Hallgarth Street, instead of using Church Road and Stockton Road.

The company says congestion in Church Street, caused by traffic and a high volume of students using the zebra crossing, is making some of its buses run late.

A number of objections have been made by people living in Hallgarth Street, with one respondent describing the street as “totally unsuitable” for large vehicles.

Another said: “In two sections the street is barely wide enough for two small cars to pass each other. With a bus this would be physically impossible causing congestion in both directions, particularly at peak times in the morning and evening when tailbacks already stretch the length of the street.”

The Northern Echo:

Arriva wants to change the route of its buses from Durham to Coxhoe to reduce congestion

Other concerns were raised about the potential for damage to parked cars and the loss of three parking spaces because of a proposals to reinstate a bus stop.

Arriva, which says six buses an hour would use Hallgarth Street, does not need permission to change the route.

However, the company is asking Durham County Council for permission to reinstate a bus stop, near the Mountjoy roundabout, which has not been used since the 1990s, when buses were re-routed to avoid the street.

Arriva says the change will reduce the journey time for the affected buses – the number 56, 57, 57A and X12 – by three minutes.

A special meeting of Durham County Council’s Highways Committee is being held today to consider the proposal for the bus stop.

A report prepared by highways officers said: “It is considered Arriva’s proposal to reroute their services via Hallgarth Street will significantly improve punctuality and therefore regain passenger confidence in those services and help protect bus service provision to the communities currently served on the Durham to Coxhoe corridor and beyond.

“It is considered there are no material grounds preventing the resumption of the location as a bus stop.

“Although the rerouted bus services will add six vehicles per hour to Hallgarth Street, any marginal increase in congestion on Hallgarth Street will be offset by equivalent gains from the reduced movements on Church Street.”

The report adds if measures are not taken to reduce delays, communities on the affected bus route are “highly likely” to lose services.

It is recommended councillors endorse the proposal.