Walking and cycling on Woodland Road

The government has set out an ambitious case for a step-change in cycling and walking to help tackle some of the most challenging issues we face – improving air quality, combating climate change, improving health and wellbeing, addressing inequalities and tackling congestion.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority has worked with the five local authorities to develop a Tees Valley Local Cycling and Walking Investment Plan [external link]

One of the first two priority schemes to be delivered with the initial funding is Woodland Road in Darlington.

The first phase of the route extends along Woodland Road from the Hollyhurst Road junction eastwards and then via Outram Street to Duke Street.

The second phase continues the route along Woodland Road to Deneside Road via the Tennis Dene.

Phase 2

Woodland Road is a wide road enabling the traffic lanes to be maintained in both directions, whilst reallocating some of the road space to cyclists through the provision of a stepped cycle lane.

This is a cycle lane that is at a lower level than the pavement but slightly higher than the road surface, thus providing a more obvious segregation from the traffic and pedestrians.

It will provide a continuous route for cyclists without the need to cross side roads. These cycle lanes will be mandatory meaning parking and loading is not allowed to ensure they are kept free for cyclists.

They will extend the route from Hollyhurst junction along Woodland Road via the Tennis Dene to Deneside Road which will be traffic calmed.

Access to Deneside Road from Woodland Road will be banned except for cyclists, reducing traffic on Deneside Road and creating a safer crossing point for cyclists to continue their journey into Cockerton.

The footways will remain mostly unchanged, with priority crossing being introduced on side streets to give greater visibility to people walking along Woodland Road.

Additional cycle infrastructure will be constructed as part of proposals for a wider highway improvement scheme which incorporates significant changes to the roundabouts at Cockerton and Woodland Road/Staindrop Road/Carmel Road.

Details of this scheme can be found on the Council’s consultation page.

The consultation closed on 11 February 2022.

Artists render of Woodland Road

Phase 1

Consultation on the proposals took place between 14 December 2020 and 3 February 2021.

We received wide ranging views from local residents, businesses and key stakeholders.

Overall there ws support for the proposals, especially making the temporary 20mph speed limit on Duke Street a permanent change and reopening Winston Street West car park to off-set the proposed reduction in parking spaces on Woodland Road and Duke Street.

We considered all the responses and incorporated some changes to the scheme, in particular to better meet the needs of disabled people, to minimise the removal of trees, and to provide more loading to support businesses.

Construction started on 15 November 2021 and is expected to last approximately 10 months.

Objections and comments were received from a number of businesses in Duke Street.

Following further changes to the design and further consultation, three objections remained and a public inquiry took place on 30 March 2022.

One of the objections was withdrawn before the inquiry started and therefore the inspector is considering the two remaining objections, plus three additional objections received after the deadline and comments and questions raised at the inquiry by members of the public.

The inspector's report is now awaited.

This is the scheme design which was considered at the inquiry, Duke Street layout [pdf document].

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