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Durham County Council

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Bishop Auckland Market Place refurbishment works

Find information about the work to improve spaces and reduce traffic speeds ahead of the building of the new Welcome Building and Observation Tower, at the entrance to Auckland Castle and in the Market Place.

What improvement works are being made?

Improvements to the footpaths and roads in the Market Place will be made, including:

  • The installation of high quality granite setts in the carriageway and Yorkstone paths, which will be sympathetic to the conservation status of the Market Place.
  • Kerblines will be altered to improve the area for pedestrians, as well as facilitating the construction of the new Welcome Building.
  • A pedestrian island will be installed in Castle Chare, providing an improved and safer route for pedestrians from the Market Place to and from Auckland Castle.

The works will fit in with improvements elsewhere in Bishop Auckland, including the refurbishment of Auckland Castle, and are designed to complement the multi-million pound, award-winning regeneration of the Market Place carried out by the council in 2011.

The bus stop in the Market Place will be suspended from the 24 July 2016, with a diversion route (in both directions) via Kingsway, Princes Street and the A689, into the bus station. The suspension and diversion will remain during Phases 2 and 3.

Phase 1 works (3 - 24 July 2016) 

Works have already been undertaken to mark out the new kerb alignment outside the Welcome Building. This has allowed for utility diversions.

Southbound through traffic from North Bondgate/Silver Street to Castle Chare has been maintained, with a right turn available into the Market Place. Bus routes are unaffected during this phase, with access from Castle Chare into the Market Place.

The planter on the approach to the Castle will be removed, in advance of the new kerblines being installed.

A new 'cut through' will be introduced on the 24 July 2016, which will provide access at all times to the Market Place, whilst the main works take place.

Phase 2 (25 July - 17 October 2016)

The road from North Bondgate/Silver Street to Castle Chare was closed to all through traffic. The first phase of the works included installation of the granite setts. Access for local residents was maintained to 19-24 Market Place, from North Bondgate/Silver Street.

Access was also maintained to the Market Place via a 'cut through' outside of St. Anne's Church, maintaining loading access at all times. Some disabled bays were suspended as were the limited waiting bays.

Access was provided using 3-way traffic lights, which coordinated traffic routes from North Bondgate, Wear Chare and Silver Street. These arrangements, as well as the suspension of the parking and limited waiting bays, will remain during Phase 3.

Vehicular and pedestrian access to the Castle will also be provided. 

Phase 3 (17 October - early 2017) 

The second phase of the installation of the carriageway will take place. Yorkstone paving will be installed on footways on the approach to Auckland Castle and areas within the Market Place.

Works have been sufficiently completed at this time to allow both north and south bound traffic to pass through the Market Place. Work will continue throughout Christmas, however disruption to the surrounding streets will be kept to a minimum, with further refurbishments being made to the approach in early 2017.

Auckland Castle will be closed at this point - any vehicular access requirements will be provided from Castle Chare. Appropriate pedestrian routes will also be provided.

Market Place refurbishment works diagram Dec 2016 (PDF, 112kb)

Phase 4 (Early 2017 onwards)

Phase 4 will see the final traffic routes in place, allowing through traffic from North Bondgate/Silver Street to Castle Chare. Access to the Market Place will be available from the north eastern and south eastern ends.

Bus routes will go back to normal with the stop in the Market Place reinstated. The disabled bays and limited waiting bays will be reinstated.

Phase 5 (June 2017)

The final Yorkstone paving works will be finished following the completion of the Welcome Building. 

All dates are subject to change related to any unforeseen events and weather conditions. The timing of Phase 5 will also be coordinated with the Welcome Building construction.