Major concerns have been raised surrounding moving Durham’s city centre coach park to Belmont park-and-ride, on the edge of the city.
Durham County Council wants to move it from The Sands, where it hopes to build new headquarters, though it says the coach park proposal predate those plans
The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), says it has “major concerns” about the loss of central coach parking space and says using Belmont would make visits to Durham less attractive.
It has raised practical issues, including difficulties with “double running”, necessary for drop-offs and pick-ups, and the possibility of reducing visiting time because of the need to give drivers adequate rest, as well as the inconvenience to drivers.
Volunteer group Durham Pointers, who provide a welcome service to coaches and have greeted 6,000 passengers this year, also say it could lead to fewer trips, and have raised other practical issues including how coaches will arrange pick-ups at The Sands to avoid traffic jams, increased emissions and where drivers will spend their free time.
Sarah Robson, the council’s Head of Economic Development, says: “The existing site only offers space for a limited number of coaches, with no potential for expansion.
“The proposal to create a coach park at Belmont would provide improved facilities for coach companies and predates the application to build a new council headquarters at The Sands.
“Pick-up and drop-off points would remain at The Sands and we are also exploring opportunities to add other locations in the future.”