Consultation on Bishop Auckland bus station and car parking
We asked for your views on proposed designs for a new bus station and car park in Bishop Auckland on the current bus station site. We also asked for your views on the existing Newgate Centre multi-storey car park and how it could be improved in the future.
Following the consultation, a planning application has been submitted on the proposals. To find out more about the consultation outcomes and the changes, please go to the bottom of this page
Bishop Auckland is the heart of entertainment and cultural events across the year which attract thousands of visitors to the town and surrounding areas in the rural west of the county.
In 2020, we successfully bid for £11.8 million of funding from the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF) to improve Bishop Auckland's transport and parking facilities. The funding is for regeneration projects to help increase the number of people visiting the town. Any new facilities will also significantly benefit the local communities and businesses for years to come.
What we are proposing
The location of the site proposed for redevelopment is situated between Clayton Street and Saddler Street and lies to the west of the existing Newgate Shopping Centre and multi-storey car park. The existing site is made up of:
- an external bus station to the north, with individual bus shelters per stand
- a public car park to the south (currently the B&M car park)
- pedestrian area to the east, next to the Newgate Shopping Centre including public toilets and a café
The existing bus station and B&M car park will be removed, and the land will be redeveloped to include a new bus station, new car park and improved public spaces.
The public toilets will be demolished as toilets would be included in the new bus station. The café would be demolished, and we will work to relocate the current occupant.
An improved bus station would replace the existing, low quality bus station and provide the local community with up to date facilities and a safe and welcoming environment for all passengers travelling to and from the town. We hope it will improve journey quality and increase visitor numbers and trade in the town. It will include:
- a new, modern bus station, accessible for all users
- a transport hub that is safe and welcoming
- an improved waiting area with seating for all including wheelchair users
- a shop
- toilet facilities including separate baby changing facilities, an accessible toilet and a Changing Places toilet for severely disabled people
- a talking screen for those with visual impairment for passenger information and a textured floor to aid people moving around the station
- a green roof to support wildlife and help the environment by reducing CO2 emissions as well improving the energy efficiency of the building
There is also a 360 degree image of the bus station. Note that these just give you a visual overview of the proposals and require a mouse to use. Please contact us if you need this information in an alternative format.
The proposed car park will help to reduce pressure on residential areas when visitor numbers increase for the cultural events such as the food festival, Kynren and the local attractions. It would include:
- parking bays which are longer and wider than current standards
- parking for electric vehicle (EV) charging
- wheelchair accessible (WAV) parking bay
- accessible parking bays for blue badge holders
- parking for motorcycles
- bicycle parking on the east side of the bus station
Getting from the car park and bus station into the town
To improve the route from the bus station and car park to the attractions and retail areas, we plan to:
- improve the public spaces with footpaths and lighting
- plant trees to reduce noise and enhance biodiversity, reduce CO2 emissions from the environment and provide shade
- improve surface drainage to prevent flooding as part of the planted areas
- improve public spaces which link the bus station and car park to the town
Newgate Multi-storey Car Park (MSCP)
Looking to the future, we would also like to hear your views about the MSCP. Do you use it? How could we improve it? This will help us to plan any potential development of the MSCP area.
Have your say
The closing date for comments was 5.00pm on 12 March 2023.
What's the latest? - updated 18 July 2023
Thank you to everyone who took part in this consultation. Drop-in sessions were held in Bishop Auckland Town Hall between 2 and 4 March 2023 and were attended by almost 200 people. Over 300 social media comments were received and over 300 questionnaires were completed either online or in person at the drop-in sessions.
You told us that you would like a bus station that feels safe and welcoming with improved facilities that are accessible for all users, including better toilets and seating, and a smaller size to make it easier for people with mobility issues to get around. You also liked the proposed car park design with parking bays that are wider and longer than current standards, parking for electric vehicle charging, wheelchair accessible parking bay, accessible parking bays for blue badge holders and parking for motorcycles.
- Many responses were in favour, the bus station development 60.9% and the car park development 48.2%.
- Those who were not in favour, (the bus station development 29.6% and the car park development 33.9%) were around concerns that the wider town centre lacked appeal to bring people to Bishop Auckland and parking charges. However, no major negative comments were received about the design of the bus station or car park. Other work that includes a wide range of improvements to the town centre that aim to increase the numbers of visitors and how long they stay in the town centre is underway. Further details of the improvements can be found at the Bishop Auckland regeneration website.
- The remaining responses were neither in favour of, nor against the proposals.
Where we are now in the process
A planning application has been submitted on the proposals and can be viewed via Durham County Councils planning application system online: REF: DM/23/01344/FPA. Comments and objections could be made up to 15 June 2023.
Newgate multi-storey car park
Comments received about this are being used to inform design proposals that aim to improve the existing facilities.
- Bishop Auckland bus station and car park