Durham Station Travel Plan
The City of Durham is the principle settlement within County Durham, located in the North East of England. It lies approximately 18 miles south of Newcastle and 22 miles north of Darlington. Within the City of Durham, the rail station holds an elevated position adjacent to Windy Hill at the west of the city centre. Durham Station lies on the East Coast mainline and falls under category C, as classified by Network Rail.
The site comprises of two platforms segregated by an underpass. Whilst East Coast manages the site, other train operators using the station include Arriva Cross Country, First Transpennine and Northern. The station is used by commuters, university students, and by persons undertaking company and personal business. As indicated by the research in this project, the largest market of customers using the station is by those visiting family and friends.
Need for a Travel Plan
Durham County Council and East Coast wanted to develop a Station Travel Plan to encourage rail users to consider using sustainable modes of transport to access the station. Along with this primary motivation, the Travel Plan was seen as a key tool to enhance working relationships between relevant partners in the city and lead a coordinated approach to improving access to the station by means other than the private motor vehicle.
Description of the process
Durham County Council and East Coast have developed this Travel Plan, in association with, Durham University, Sustrans, CTC, Arriva, Go Northern and Transpennine Express. The Travel Plan was developed through consultation with the working group, and members of the public.
Consultation was undertaken through face to face surveys, online surveys (of rail, non rail and student users) and through face to face meetings and discussions with members of the public and community groups. The development of the Travel Plan has proceeded with support from ATOC, who provided comments at various stages through the document's creation.
Action Plan highlights
Whilst many suggestions were made that are beyond the capacity of this document, an action plan has been developed to implement measure that will achieve the objectives and targets of this Travel Plan. The action plan is a three year strategy including, implementing real time bus information at the rail station, improving the signage in and around the station, promotional and marketing campaigns to encourage rail users to think about their travel choice.
Key lessons learned
Durham County Council have applied Travel Planning principles used in workplaces, schools and other settings, to stations, and in that sense we have not learned lessons about travel planning as such. However, it is expected that as the plan is implemented there will be various hurdles to cross, and then we will begin to learn from the project, especially because the people we will be dealing with are 'fluid' and in most cases, not using the station on a regular basis.