More town centre social distancing measures to be introduced

More town centre social distancing measures to be introduced
08 June 2020

Temporary measures to ease the introduction of social distancing in Darlington town centre will continue to be put in place this week.

We are putting these measures in place to try and support businesses which are re-opening. These measures will create space for people to queue and a safe social distance for people to pass.

Parking in council-run car parks will continue to be free, to encourage people to buy local and support their town centre business.

Starting this Thursday (11 June), footways on Grange Road and Northumberland Street will be temporarily widened using some of the road space. Water filled barriers will be used to separate pedestrians from traffic.

These changes will include the temporary suspension of some parking bays, taxi rank space and loading bays. One loading bay will be provided on Grange Road, and the loading bay on Northumberland Street will be retained.

Crossing points will be retained for pedestrians. Disabled parking will be provided on Northumberland Street.

On Friday (12 June), the bus lane on Coniscliffe Road will be suspended and buses using bus stop N on Blackwellgate will not call here, instead continuing to use stand M outside the Town Hall.

A loading bay will be provided at the west end of Coniscliffe Road near the junction with West Street and Larchfield Street.

Traffic using Skinnergate and Grange Road will not be able to use Blackwellgate/Houndgate but will instead need to exit the town centre via Coniscliffe Road. Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to use the section of closed road on Blackwellgate/Houndgate.

Darlington Borough Council will monitor the effectiveness of these measures over the coming weeks, and make any changes that are necessary.

Councillor Heather Scott, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “People visiting the town centre will already notice a number of changes that we have introduced, particularly to encourage social distancing around bus stops.

“From this week, you will start to notice more changes in and around Grange Road and Northumberland Street. We have been in touch with traders in these areas and understand the concerns they have raised about these measures, which is why it’s important to stress that these changes are only temporary and will be subject to regular review.

“We will be sharing details of a scheme for Duke Street, which will be along the same lines, in the next few weeks.

“As the town centre will be potentially more crowded with outdoor queuing as well as people walking through the streets, cyclists will need to dismount and push their bikes through the pedestrianised areas of the town centre between 10am and 5pm.”

Improvement works in Abbott’s Yard car park, including replacement drainage and a new layout of parking spaces, started on Monday (8 June) and is expected to be complete by early August.