A city driving guide to Durham
Durham is a fascinating city to explore. It’s filled with historic sights (Durham Cathedral being the most well-known) as well as natural delights of the River Wear passing through the middle of it.
Driving around Durham can be a challenge though, due to various road restrictions. Make sure you are prepared then by following this guide by Pass ’N’ Go, who can also provide specialist driving lessons in Durham to get you used to the city’s routes:
Speed & traffic cameras
Currently, there are no fixed speed cameras in place around Durham city centre — however, mobile speed cameras are frequently in operation, with this database created by SpeedCamerasUK.com detailing the hotspots for drivers to be aware of.
There are several traffic cameras found throughout Durham City, with these located as follows:
1. A177 South Road, with the camera pointing towards Durham City and looking at Howlands park and ride.
2. A690 Leazes Road, with the camera pointing towards Gilesgate roundabout.
3. A690 on the approach to Gilesgate roundabout, with the camera located on the footbridge and looking at Durham City.
4. A690 at Carrville to the east of the junction, with the camera looking towards the Belmont park and ride.
5. A690 at Carrville to the west of the junction, with the camera located near the exit from the A1 and pointing towards Durham City.
6. Dryburn Park.
7. Framwellgate Peth, with the camera located between the County Hall and Milburngate roundabout and pointing towards Durham City.
8. Gilesgate, with the camera located at the junction with Sherburn Road (A181) and pointing towards Durham City.
9. Milburngate roundabout, with the camera pointing towards Milburngate Bridge.
10. Neville’s Cross/Crossgate Moor, with the camera located between these two routes.
11. Neville’s Cross/Darlington Road, with the camera located between these two routes.
12. New Elvet, with the camera offering a view of traffic heading out of the city centre.
13. Prince Bishops shopping centre, with the camera located next to the entrance of the shopping centre’s car park and pointing towards Gilesgate.
14. Sniperley roundabout/Pity Me, with the camera located between these two routes.
15. Sniperley roundabout/Lanchester Road, with the camera located between these two routes.
16. Sniperley roundabout/Whitesmocks, with the camera located between these two routes.
17. Sutton Street, with the camera located next to the railway viaduct and proving views towards Durham City bus station.
You can view up-to-the-minute traffic conditions related to any of these cameras on the Durham County Council website.
Roads with restrictions
Durham Road User Charge Zone
There is a Durham Road User Charge Zone in place in the Durham peninsula. This is the part of the city where the historic World Heritage site of Durham Cathedral and Castle can be found, as well as Durham Chorister School, Durham Market Place, Durham University colleges and various other shops and businesses.
Set up to reduce traffic congestion and pollution, as well as to improve air quality around the peninsula, the zone is in operation from 10:00 to 16:00 from Monday to Saturday, though this excludes bank holidays, and is activated by an Automatic Number Plate Recognition system found at the junction of Saddler Street and Claypath.
A daily charge of £2.00 is requested to use the road during these times, which can be paid at The Parking Shop found at Suite 1, Forster House, Forster Business Centre, Finchale Road, Framwellgate Moor, Durham, County Durham, DH1 5HL or by contacting 0191 384 6633. The charge must be paid in advance or by 18:00 on the day that the road is used, with a penalty charge notice of £50.00 the fine if failure to do so.
Claypath night time closures
A section of Claypath is closed to all vehicles — with the exception of scheduled bus services and permit holders for those who live or work within the closure area — between 21:00 and 04:00 each Friday and Saturday.
Aimed to reduce traffic congestion and vehicles that obstruct the highway in Durham City throughout the weekend, the closure area extends from the beginning of the slip road at Milburngate Bridge (the A690) and continues up Claypath until the junction with Providence Row. The closure area also includes the bottom of Claypath into the entrance of The Market Place.
Roadworks, road closures & road improvement schemes
You can keep up-to-date with all of the roadworks in and around Durham by analysing this table on the Durham County Council website. These are the major upcoming roadworks to be aware of in the upcoming months:
· A new footpath to Durham Station is being installed at Framwellgate Peth, in Durham City, between June 7th and June 13th. This will lead to a lane closure between 09:30 and 15:30pm each day during the work.
· Phase one of a road refurbishment scheme at Owengate, in Durham City, will be taking place between July 24th and September 22nd. This will lead to a lane closure between 08:30 and 16:30 each day that the work is carried out.
· Construction of student accommodation on Rennys Lane, in Gilesgate, will take place between June 27th and August 20th. There will be a road closure at Ernest Place for the duration of the work.
· There will be a carriageway widening scheme undertaken in Gilesgate for an as-yet unspecified period in August. There will be a road closure affecting the westbound route from Gilesgate roundabout for the duration of the work.
· The Gates redevelopment scheme is ongoing at Milburngate, in Durham City, and is set to continue until September. Stop/go boards are in place between 09:00 and 15:00 as required for the duration of the work.
· Bridge and footway refurbishment is ongoing at Old Elvet Bridge, in Durham City, and is set to continue until November 3rd. There will be a road closure in place for the duration of the work.
· Surface dressing work will be taking place throughout the Durham City area between June and August, which will lead to road closures and both 10mph and 40mph speed limits as required.
Park & Ride schemes
There are currently three Park and Ride sites found across Durham City, covering key routes into the city and operating from the following locations:
· Belmont, DH1 1SR, with the bus stopping at Milburngate Bridge east side, Milburngate, County Hall and the University Hospital on its journey through the city.
· Howlands Farm, DH1 3TQ, with the bus stopping at the University Hospital, County Hall, Milburngate and Claypath (Millennium Place) on its journey through the city.
· Sniperley, DH1 5RA, with the bus stopping at New Elvet, Milburngate Bridge east side, Milburngate and Leazes Road underpass, New Elvet on its journey through the city.
Each site is open between 07:00 and 19:00 from Monday to Saturday (excluding bank holidays), though the Belmont site remains open until 20:00 on Thursdays to take into account the late-night opening of many of the city’s shops.
A cost of a fare is £2 per person, which will grant unlimited travel on park and ride buses that run every ten minutes from each site, as well as the use of the Cathedral Bus for no additional charge. Under 16s can also travel for free, so long as an adult over 21 years old accompanies them, while concessionary pass holders can travel for free after 09:30 from Monday to Friday — there’s a 50p charge before that time — and without charge all day Saturday.
Be aware that cars cannot be left overnight at any of the sites, with a possible parking ticket penalty.
Electric car charging points
If you have an electric vehicle, then you will be pleased to hear that there are currently 561 charging points located in and around Durham City. To make sure you aren’t left stranded, Zap Map has conveniently listed the locations and further details of each point here.