TWO prospective MPs have attended the latest session of the examination in public of the County Durham Plan.

Liberal Democrat Amanda Hopgood and Green Party candidate Jonathan Elmer are both hoping to be the next MP for the City of Durham.

They attended the session in Murton yesterday to discuss the impact of new roads to the north and west of the city.

Cllr Elmer, who is a Green Party member on the City of Durham Parish Council, said: "These are issues that I know are of huge importance to people across the city.

"What the council wants to do is build great roads around the city with no evidence of need, to reduce people's journeys by one-and-a-half minutes.

"The scale of the impact does not warrant it when you consider there is another alternative."

Cllr Hopgood, who attended the session as county councillor for Newton Hall, said: "The ward I represent as a county councillor is the only one going to be affected by both roads.

"They built Rotary Way and then they built around it. That's the risk. If they build relief roads then they will infill around them.

"They will take away the space we have at the nature reserve. Children play there, families walk there, people exercise their dogs. If we get these roads all that will disappear."

The northern relief road would connect Pity Me and Brasside with the A690 near Carrville, while the western road would link Sniperley and Stonebridge, near Neville's Cross.

Durham County Council defended its proposals at the event in Murton, saying the roads will remove traffic from the city centre, reduce air pollution and will ease congestion at pinch points in the city.

So far three candidates have been announced for Durham, including Labour's Mary Foy.

The final list of candidates who are standing will be released after nominations close at 5pm tomorrow.