Plan your trip to the light fantastic
BARBARA HODGSON HAS SOME ESSENTIAL INFORMATION FOR ANYONE TRAVELLING TO DURHAM LUMIERE OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS
VISITORS to Lumiere this week are asked to avoid bringing their cars into Durham if they can.
Up to 200,000 visitors are expected to descend on the city over the run of the light festival from tomorrow to Sunday so car parking spaces are going to be under enormous pressure.
Wherever possible, families are asked to check out public transport options or take advantage of the Lumiere Park and Ride scheme.
To ease the strain on city centre streets, a number of road closures, partial closures and diversions will be in place. Durham County Council has announced the following changes, which will cause knock-on traffic delays for drivers, so here is everything you need to know.
MILBURNGATE BRIDGE CLOSURE
At the start and end of the festival, both eastbound lanes will be closed and diversions put in place.
BEFORE THE FESTIVAL
Both lanes also will be closed from 9am today until 6am tomorrow while a barrier is put in place.
DURING THE FESTIVAL
One eastbound lane will be closed on Milburngate Bridge throughout the festival.
In between, while the barrier is in place, there will be only one eastbound traffic lane in operation from 6am tomorrow until 11.30pm on Sunday so seek an alternative route to avoid significant delays being caused throughout the day.
AFTER THE FESTIVAL
Both lanes will be closed at 11.30pm on Sunday until 6am on Monday while the barrier is removed in readiness for the users’ normal morning commute.
There will be other city centre road and footpath closures during the festival
There may be other closures while the artworks are constructed or dismantled and some parking bay suspensions will be in operation througout.
LUMIERE PARK AND RIDE
This will be in operation until 11.30pm when the last park-and-ride buses will leave the city centre.
Concessionary pass holders and children under 16 travel free.
Cost: £2 per person; free to concessionary passholders and children under 16 (accompanied by an adult over 21).
Three extra park-and-ride options have been added to Durham’s usual three park-and-ride schemes at Belmont, Sniperley and Howlands which have buses every 10 minutes to the city centre.
Buses have access for disabled people (who can travel for free) and sites at Belmont, Sniperley and Howlands have accessible toilet facilities. Dogs are allowed on buses if on a lead.
These three sites all will be operating from tomorrow to Saturday, 7am-11.30pm; and Sunday 3pm 11.30pm
Belmont (DH1 1SR) - buses will take people to Claypath underpass. This scheme is expected to fill up first.
Howlands Farm (DH1 3TQ) - buses travel to opposite Three Tuns, New Elvet. Sniperley (DH1 5RA) - buses to North Road. The normal park-and-ride service will operate as normal on its usual days (which don’t include Sunday) up to 2pm when the link between Belmont and Sniperly will end and the Lumiere services will start.
The following extra park-and-ride schemes will run tomorrow and Friday at 4.30pm-11.30pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 3.30pm-11.30pm
New College (DH1 5ES) - buses going to North Road.
Merryoakes (DH1 3QD) - buses to a stop opposite Three Tuns, New Elvet
Meadowfield (DH7 8RP) - buses to Sutton Sttreet
There are car parks open all night for those who choose to stay late and get a taxi back. Taxis are available from the likes of Sutton Street or Old Elvet. These following car parks are privately operated. Prince Bishops: 0191 3750416 Riverside: 0191 3741570 The Gates: 0191 386 9363 Walkergate: 0870 174 0074
There are several late train options running from Durham back to Newcastle Tomorrow: Later trains from Durham include 10.30pm and 10.39pm; then last ones are at 11.34pm (getting in at 12.08am) 12.14am (getting in at 12.41pm). Friday: 11.34pm; 12.14pm. Saturday: 11.02pm; 11.50pm; (earlier ones including 9.32pm; 10.02pm and 10.32pm). Sunday: 11.01pm; 11.34pm; 12.09pm (earlier ones at 9.32pm; 9.57pm; 10.37pm and 10.43pm)