Information sessions to show proposed plans for the road through Bishop Auckland Market Place have been on show this week.
The works would see Castle Chare, between Durham Road and the Market Place, altered around the new Welcome Building and observation tower. Changes to the entrance to Auckland Castle are also included in the plans.
Initial work will begin on Tuesday, 31st May, with kerbs changed so that construction work can begin. A second phase would be started after Christmas on the surrounding area.
Once work is completed four parking bays nearest Castle Chare will have been removed. The road will not be changed next to the Cenotaph, but new Yorkstone paving is proposed for the surrounding pavement.
The changes will achieve two things, says Dave Wafer, Strategic Traffic Manager at Durham County Council.
“First it’s going to allow the building to be constructed because we have to move the road across to allow the building to go in. But secondly it’s going to narrow a lot of the road space down and create much wider areas for pedestrians.”
The proposed materials will match those used in the Market Place during its regeneration in 2011, with more of the road surface flush with the pavements to remove kerbs.
Cllr Neil Foster, Cabinet member for economic regeneration and culture, said: “With the array of amazing changes coming to Bishop Auckland our plans for the market place will see a better Bishop Auckland for local residents as well as what we hope will be a major influx of visitors.”
Durham County Council has applied for £2.5 million from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership for the work which also includes new benches, lights and plants.