Rethinking Victoria Road consultation

Victoria Road was identified as a key street that links our ambitious plans for Darlington Station, the redevelopment of the Auction Mart site and our ongoing support of the town centre economy.

Groundwork North East and Cumbria was appointed by Darlington Borough Council to undertake community planning events and consultation with residents and businesses. The aim was to develop ideas for how the area could be transformed. One of the overriding views expressed was pride in the local area, with many residents remembering when it had been a community with local shops and services. Many stated that they would like to see a wider variety of shops and make the area greener and safer.

The consultation also highlighted a wide range of issues some of which are outside the scope of the original project but will be taken on board and fed back to other services within the Council. For example, concerns regarding litter and anti-social behaviour.

From the initial consultation work, carried out in November 2018, it was found that some of the key issues faced on Victoria Road were caused by the amount and the speed of traffic and the lack of a segregated cycle route.

The next stage of the work was to translate views and findings into concepts that could be tested with people working and living in the area. The traffic surveys did identify that the traffic levels at the eastern end of Victoria Road (nearest to the station) are significantly less than that of the western end near Victoria Embankment and this could provide some opportunity to re-engineer this section of Victoria Road. The junction with Clifton Road was also seen as a problem for pedestrians with lots of traffic turning in and out of Victoria Road. Speed of traffic turning onto Victoria Road from the ring road was also a problem.

The results of the consultation and community planning events have been collated into a report. The report is intended to be a factual representation of the views expressed throughout the consultation process.

Darlington Borough Council will further explore which of the elements had public support and could be taken forward. A one-way system on Waverley Terrace will not be explored any further as this did not have public support. Other concepts will be considered to maximise potential benefits at the eastern end of Victoria Road. Detailed designs will be drawn up and residents will have further opportunity to comment later this year when we will also update you on the next stages.