New footpaths and cycle routes open around Durham University

A multi-million pound project to improve travel around Durham University has reached a key milestone, with all cycle and footpaths completed.

Durham University is investing £6.5 million in its Infrastructure Improvements project, to support the safe movement of pedestrians, cyclists and road users around its campus.

The infrastructure works centre on the South Road area of Durham City, between Stockton Road, near the University’s Bill Bryson Library, and Mount Oswald, where the University recently opened two new College facilities.

The project includes work to popular public routes, so will benefit University students and staff and local residents alike.

The first of the project’s two sections, including all works to create new, and improve existing, cycle and footpaths, is now completed, as  the University’s contractors Colas were able to speed up the works with fewer University students and staff on-site during the earlier stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Colas were able to continue works safely during the first national lockdown and the University and contractors worked hard to minimise disruption and keep University students, staff and local residents informed on progress, including through a monthly newsletter.

Work has now begun on section two, to create a new 215-space University car park on the University’s upper Mountjoy site. This is behind the University’s new Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science building, which will be finished soon, will be accessed via South Road and Hollingside Lane and will have a number of electrical vehicle charging points.

David Loudon, Director of Estates and Facilities at Durham University, said: “We have invested significantly in the Infrastructure Improvements project because the safety of our students, staff, visitors and members of the public is of utmost importance to us.

“It is very pleasing to see all the new cycle and footpaths completed. Some of the routes go through some beautiful woodland – perfect for the daily exercise we’re allowed to take outdoors during lockdown.”

The University hopes the project will enable more students and staff to choose active travel options. During November it is promoting active travel, including by sharing resources from the walking charity Living Streets and working with Recyke y’bike, a North East charity that specialises in refurbishing donated bikes and selling them at affordable prices to fund its charitable objectives.

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