Aykley Heads developments

The development of Aykley Heads is progressing, with plans for new offices on what is an existing parking area, likely to come forward soon.

We have raised concerns on more than one occasion over congestion and parking issues across Aykley Heads and will continue to work to make sure that all re development of the area is properly managed and designed.

We are really concerned that whilst the County Council is listening to what we are saying they will not follow through and actually ensure that the development of the area is sustainable.

As soon as we hear anything new we will update on this blog.

Remembrance Sunday in Framwellgate Moor – 100 Year Anniversary of the end of World War 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please attend the parade and services this weekend. Starting at St Aidan’s Parish Hall at 10.30am with a service led by Rev Fiona Collin. We will then walk to the memorial garden at Durham Moor, which has had significant work carried out this year and looks splendid.

Local resident David Wheeler ( A Royal British Legion volunteer) has been working all day to cut back paths and plant up some wonderful commemorative benches as well as some extra displays of flowers.

Thank you to Pity Me Nursery for providing the plants – the heathers and pansies I picked up today which David has planted look fantastic.

A company called Loggerheads designed and built the benches, completely voluntarily and if you go and take a look you will be amazed at how great they look. A big thank you to them.

Thank you to the County Council for providing heavy duty flagstones at short notice and free of charge to fix the benches to.

The Parish Council commissioned Marble plaques for the memorial this year using s106 public art money we secured through the County Council.

Parish Councillor Peter Dawson worked hard to get together all the names of our fallen heroes from World War 1 and their names are now there for all to see for the first time on our memorial.

The Parish Council, residents and your county councillors will continue to work together to do all we can to improve the memorial area.

Thank you to David, Loggerheads, Peter, The Royal British Legion,The Parish and County Council’s and everyone else who was involved in improving the memorial this year, but most importantly, thank you to all those who died fighting so that we may live in a peaceful and tolerant society.

Lest We Forget

Brasside parking scheme completed today. Hurrah!

The scheme we funded from local neighbourhood budgets in Brasside has just been completed. The works just finished cover an area of nearly 100m, and we have now completed the whole 130m stretch we said we would.

The area is now unrecognisable to how it was. Previously there was grass, mud, gravel, potholes and in fact it was dangerous.

The Council’s highways dept refused to provide any funding towards the scheme as Labour councillors have always refused to fund what they call verge hardening works. So we used our local budgets and are really pleased at the results.

MAJOR RESURFACING WORKS AT BEK ROAD/CARR HOUSE DRIVE – 64 BUS SERVICE AFFECTED

This coming weekend 20th and 21st October, the entrance in to Newton Hall from Bek Road traffic lights will be closed. This will include the closure of the section of Carr House Drive from Alnwick Road junction to Bek Road, and Bek Road up to just before Eden Road. A full resurfacing job will be done on the stretch not done last year, but this will include removing the top layer and putting on a full new surface rather than just a coating over the top.

The 64 Bus service will operate along Rothbury Road and Canterbury Road and part of Bek Road as normal, but turn down Langley Road, missing out the rest of Bek Road, going onto Carr House Drive and then down Alnwick Road, it will then turn back onto Rothbury Road, and then continue down Old Pit Lane/Finchale Road – and the reverse going the other direction.

This will mean that two stops (one in either direction) will be missed on Bek Road.

It is possible that the service will be disrupted. Please let us know if any of the 64 services this weekend or any other day for that matter do not actually go through the estate, as there are regular occurrences when the service misses out the estate completely!

We have raised concerns with the council that the closure this weekend has not been sufficiently advertised in the press, and indeed I was only notified myself of the alternative route at 10.30 on Thursday (today).

I also held a 2 hour meeting with council transport officers last week about the 64 service and they are arranging a meeting with Arriva so that we can raise concerns of residents about the frequent occasions when the 64 bus misses out the entire estate.

£343,000 being spent on Northern Relief Road survey

As part of the proposals in the County Plan, the Northern Relief Road (NRR) has split opinions in our area.

A Durham resident asked a question at full Council this week about the cost of the survey works. The response is below.

My biggest concern with this is there has been no evaluation of other routes prior to carrying out this survey. Any sane organisation would have looked at all possible routes, drawn up a report on them and THEN and only then considered survey work on the preferred route – ideally after consultation with the public.

This is where this element of the County Plan is seriously flawed. It may well be that the NRR route they propose is the best option but to not even go through the due diligence stinks of arrogance.

I asked for a report to be compiled on all the possible route options and we await for that report to come forward, however I expect there will be comments raised when the final County Plan is announced and when it is discussed at the inquiry – could be egg on the Council’s face again if they don’t get it right second time around.

Council response:

 

Question:

Since early this year, extensive ground investigations have been underway along the route of a proposed northern relief road for Durham City. What is the cost or projected cost of this work and, secondly, what was the cost of such work a few years ago for a projected western relief road?

RESPONSE
Firstly, I would like to thank Mr Clark for the question.
We are currently completing a significant exercise to test the ground conditions along the length of the proposed Durham Northern Relief Road. This work is essential if we want to bid for national funding to deliver this critical element of infrastructure. The works will see the sinking of over 70 trial holes and boreholes, some up to 90 meters deep, as well as monitoring over a 3 month period. Although the works are not fully complete it is expected that the final cost of the work will be £343,000.
A similar exercise undertaken previously along the length of the Western Relief Road previously cost £273,000.
The Draft Durham City Sustainable Transport Plan is clear that the long term transport strategy for the city centre is dependent on the ability to provide more space for people travelling on foot, by bike and bus. This is impossible to achieve without a new crossing of the River Wear which provides an alternative to Milburngate Bridge. It is this additional crossing that is provided by the Northern Relief Road.
Providing the Relief Road not only allows extra space in the City for pedestrians, cyclists, bus users it will also create significant air quality benefits by removing unnecessary slow moving and standing traffic and allow the City to function as the economy grows.
Displacing non-essential car trips away from the city centre will also encourage residents and visitors to use active travel and public transport when travelling into the city at peak hours, rather than taking the car into the city.
The Northern Relief Road is a longstanding proposal to improve the road network around Durham City. The principle was established by the Inspector of the 1979 County Durham Structure Plan which stated that a Northern link road ‘will improve the link between Consett and the A1 (M) at Carrville and together with a Western Relief Road, reduce traffic congestion through the city centre. The road was also safeguarded in the City of Durham Local Plan 2004 and had been incorporated in the latest consultation on the Durham Plan.
The improvements resulting from the provision of a Norther Relief Road will have major benefits for the cultural and historic environment of the city, making it a much more pleasant place to work, shop and visit and having direct benefits to the built fabric and public realm of the city including the World Heritage Site and safeguarding the City as a premier economic asset.

 

Well done! Council Clean and Green Team in rapid response to dangerous trees

Yesterday afternoon I contacted our Clean and Green Manager about a dangerous tree at the entrance to the Arnison Centre. There could have been a serious accident as it was leaning at 45 degrees towards the road and was only held up by a sign.

The team was out and had the whole tree down and removed and the access fully open again astonishingly quickly. All credit to them. They also made safe another tree in Newton Hall and were called out to countless other problems across the area.

Hopefully we won’t have to deal with this again but if you do spot a dangerous tree contact the Council immediately and let us know.