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Durham Uni and County Council plan to build new footpaths and widen the Church Street pavement

Along with new buildings for Maths and Computer Science

Durham University and Durham County Council will hold public consultations at the end of the month for a set of proposed infrastructural developments.

The Council is proposing to widen the Church Street pavement to a maximum of three metres, by narrowing the road, moving a bus stop, and changing roadside parking.

A public consultation, at which more information on the proposals will be displayed, will be held at The Palatine Centre on Thursday 26 April from 12pm to 7pm.

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Church Street's footpaths are notoriously narrow (Image: Google)

Durham University will also be outlining its proposals to build a new pedestrian route to the east of South Road, between the New Inn junction and Van Mildert.

The Uni will also propose the creation of a new buildings for the Maths and Computer Science departments on Upper Mountjoy, along with another vehicle entrance route behind Grey College via Hollingside Lane, and a new car park.

Jane Robinson, Chief Operating Officer at Durham University, said: “These new developments are both exciting and necessary to support our growth and continued success.

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Locations that the University and Council might propose their new developments (Image: Google)

“It is important to us that the new Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science building is designed around the needs of staff and students and allows both of these departments to continue to thrive and grow, while we expect the Infrastructure project to improve movement around the City for pedestrians and road users alike.

“We very much hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to visit our public exhibition and make comments via our website.”

Students of the Computer Science department – ranked 4th in the UK by Complete University Guide 2018 – have particularly welcomed news of a possible new building. Speaking to the Tab this morning, Computer Science fresher George had already begun to consider potential design ideas. "It had better have big open spaces with lots of sunlight, because some of [the Computer Science] students are seriously lacking in Vitamin D!" he said.

Other students are especially relieved at the news of proposed improvements to Church St's notoriously narrow pavements, which get especially busy for students moving between Elvet and the Science Site.

"I never thought that footpath width would be an issue close to my heart," said one St Aidan's student, "but after experiencing the mass migration along on Church St to Elvet all year, the widened pavements should make a huge difference!"

Dave Wafer, the Council’s strategic traffic manager, said: “The footpath on Church Street is very narrow and given the sheer number of pedestrians who use it, we have come up with these proposals which would see it widened.

“We would encourage people to come along and find out more about what we are looking to do and we look forward to holding further consultation with local residents in due course.”