As part of the consultation on the County Durham Plan, Council officers are asking residents to consider a particular ‘focus issue’ each week.  The theme for this week (2-8 July) is TRANSPORT, and the relevant policies are summarised below (you can read the full text on pp.127-142 online here:
What do you think?  Submit your comments by post to FREEPOST Spatial Policy or by emailing:

Although the planning system cannot directly change people’s travel behaviour, the Plan will use Transport Assessments, Transport Statements and Travel Plans to encourage sustainable transport choices by:
• Seeking to put new development in locations which minimise the distance and time of journeys;
• Making the best use of existing public transport and the highways network; and
• Integrating sustainable transport choices into the design of new developments, which will be planned to maximise opportunities for travelling according to the following priority: those with mobility issues or disabilities, walking, cycling, public transport, car sharing and alternative fuel vehicles.
The Plan will protect Rights of Way, Railway Paths and Green Infrastructure, and a new County Durham Cycling Delivery Plan will identify a proposed cycling network (including ‘Cycling Super Routes’).
As for cars, the Plan will establish parking standards which focus on limiting car parking supply at destination. It will also set minimum car parking standards that house builders must adhere to when building new housing, and it will encourage electric vehicle charging infrastructure and car sharing bays.
This policy seeks to relieve the pressure of traffic around Durham by a number of measures including a new ‘Western Relief Road’ (from Broompark to Sniperley) and a new ‘Northern Relief Road’ (from Lanchester Road to Carrville); both these proposed roads will run through the Green Belt.
Other transport proposals in the Plan include an eastern by-pass for Barnard Castle, the reinstatement of the Leamside train line from Ferryhill to Gateshead, a new station at Horden, and an inland rail freight interchange at Newton Aycliffe (Forrest Park).
The Plan is aware of a proposal for a new north Darlington by-pass linking the A167/A1(M) junction 59 to the A66, which could have potential benefits to Newton Aycliffe Business Park as a result of improved links to Teesport.  Although the majority of this link road will be located in Darlington, the County Durham Plan will safeguard the small part of the route in County Durham, specifically the link to the A1M junction.
(All the new routes depend on government money becoming available.)