New traffic system planned on Duke Street in Darlington

ONE CITY Council has revised its traffic management plans for a street in its commercial core, following discussions with several local businesses.

While businesses on Duke Street supported the one-way traffic system and 20mph speed limit, both of which are in place on a temporary basis, concerns were raised about safety, the location of the docks at load and the number of parking spaces on the street.

Officers revised the plan to meet as many business needs as possible by moving the loading and parking facilities to the west end of Duke Street.

Redesign the Larchfield junction and include an additional traffic calming feature at the Outran Street junction to enforce the 20mph speed limit.

Darlington Council is now contacting businesses on Duke Street and residents of the Outram Street area to explain the proposals in more detail.

The new design also includes closing the south end of Outram Street to vehicles and council is keen to hear the views of area residents.

This new proposal follows many changes that the council has tried to introduce to the street.

The street path has been widened during Covid so people can shop from a social distance.

There was also an earlier plan to create a cycle lane across the street, which raised concerns from business owners.

Business owners cited security concerns and worried about the impact on footfall if they lost parking spaces outside their premises.

Councilor Andy Keir, cabinet member for local services, said: ‘We have listened to what businesses and residents have said and will continue to do so.

“Duke Street is a busy street with a diverse range of shops and services and we want to create a program that supports local businesses, as well as local residents and others who use the route to get downtown and into to recover.

“We are committed to providing a high quality walking and cycling route between West Park and the town center and have secured the necessary funding from the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

“Following continued dialogue between the officers and the local population, I am confident that we can reach a consensus and begin construction later this year.”

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