Darlington Western Connectivity: Town Centre to Faverdale to Cockerton

Closing Date: 31st December 2024

Location: Darlington


Faverdale to the northwest of Darlington is linked to the Town Centre by Woodland Road and West Auckland Road (A68) through Cockerton. This is a busy route and an important connection to the west including to the A1(M), Cockerton, Faverdale and West Park. We want to make bus, walking, wheeling, and cycling journeys better, safer and easier between these areas and the town centre.

Faverdale to Darlington Town Centre Connectivity

Darlington Town Centre is an important destination for shoppers, workers, students, and visitors.  Popular destinations within the town centre the Cornmill Shopping Centre, the Dolphin Centre, and Darlington Hippodrome.   Other important locations on this corridor, or within reach of, include Darlington Rail Station, Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, and Darlington Memorial Hospital.

Darlington is growing, with plans for new homes and jobs, including at West Park, Burtree Garden Village and Coniscliffe Park. This means there will be more journeys in the future, making the A68 Woodland Road busier as a result.

Wider Vision for Darlington West

The A68 Woodland Road is an important route, and we want to tackle congestion, make public transport more reliable and make it safer and more attractive to walk, wheel and cycle.

The Tees Valley Local Cycling and Walking Investment Plan (LCWIP) identified Woodland Road/West Auckland Road as a key route for investment. Work has already begun on making improvements to the route. A stepped (raised) cycle lane on Woodland Road from the Hollyhurst Road junction via Outram Street to Duke Street (Town Centre) was completed in October 2023.

Plans to extend the route from Hollyhurst junction, along Woodland Road, through the Tennis Dene to Deneside Road which will be traffic calmed, have been consulted on. Click here to see a detailed plan of the proposals.

Darlington Council have already shared plans for Cockerton and Woodland Road/Carmel Road North Roundabout Improvements. The plans were consulted in 2022 and include replacing the mini roundabouts with larger roundabouts to reduce delay for all traffic. Further information can be found here. Darlington BC – Current consultations

We want to build on these plans to further improve transport links along this route to make walking, wheeling, and cycling more attractive and to reduce delay for buses at key junctions.

Current transport issues

Many people already walk, wheel, cycle or take the bus between Faverdale and the town centre along Woodland Road. However, Woodland Road and West Auckland Road (A68) are congested busy routes.  From Cockerton, there is no continuous cycle route and buses get caught in congestion. Some key junctions along the route include Bondgate roundabout in Darlington Town Centre, there are points of delay and some sections may feel unsafe for walkers, wheelers, and cyclists.

We have identified some transport issues at these locations:

Bondgate to Greenbank Road

  • Delays around the Greenbank Road and Portland Place junction due to traffic turning in and out of the side roads, which causes delays at the Bondgate Roundabout.
  • Vehicles are often parked in the outbound bus lane at Four Riggs, resulting in buses being unable to use the bus stop efficiently.
  • Walking, wheeling, and cycle crossings are currently via an underpass and could be improved.

A68 Woodland Road Town Centre to Cockerton

  • Plans are in place to provide a continuous segregated cycle route from the Town Centre to Cockerton. Phase 1 from Town Centre to Hollyhurst Road junction on Woodland Road is complete, and Phase 2 will commence this year, following consultation in 2022.
  • The existing Cockerton and Woodland Road roundabouts are no longer capable of accommodating the level of traffic on the A68, and the junctions will come under additional pressure as new housing is developed to the North and West.
  • Buses passing through the roundabouts are often delayed.
  • Walkers, wheelers, and cyclists often find it difficult to safely cross the busy road.

A68 West Auckland Road – Cockerton to Faverdale

  • West Auckland Road is very busy and can get congested with queuing traffic, due to the issues at Cockerton and Woodland Road roundabouts.
  • Buses can be delayed, especially at busy times.
  • Walking, wheeling, and cycling can be difficult at some junctions along West Auckland Road.

We want to deliver improvements to help improve bus, walking, wheeling, or cycling journeys and make these more attractive travel options.

Here are some opportunities that may help address the issues we have highlighted on this route:

  • We could improve the layout of roundabouts, junctions and roads to reduce delays
  • Introduce measures at signalised junctions to enable buses to flow more freely.
  • Review options for verge hardening/parking along West Auckland Road which could help traffic including buses flow more freely.
  • There is an opportunity to fill in gaps in the network to provide a continuous route for people walking, wheeling, and cycling.
  • Provide new segregated cycle lanes where there are none and upgrade existing footways and cycle paths
  • Upgrade dedicated crossing facilities at junctions to allow walkers, wheelers, and cyclists to cross the road safely.
  • Provide new signalised crossing points at busy locations.

These may offer the following benefits:

  • Buses could move through junctions more efficiently.
  • Quicker journey times for buses using priority measures.
  • Reduced congestion and queuing could result in more reliable journeys for all vehicles.
  • Safer, joined up and more attractive walking, wheeling, and cycling paths between Faverdale and Darlington town centre.
  • More opportunities to cross the road safely, at signalised crossing points.
  • Dedicated paths for cyclists mean they do not need to share road space, reducing conflicts with other road users.
  • Contributes to the delivery of a full and connected network of cycle routes across Darlington.
  • Review the provision of accessible dropped kerbs along the route.

We recognise that there may be some impacts, these could include:

  • Reduction of green/public space in the vicinity of Cockerton and Woodland Road roundabouts and along West Auckland Road.
  • May require some removal of parking.
  • The existing road space may need to be narrowed to provide space for walking, wheeling, and cycle paths.
Other Issues?

If you think there are other transport issues between Faverdale and Darlington Town Centre, please let us know on the feedback form.

FAQs & Consultations

Frequently Asked Questions

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Stage 1 - Sharing ambitions and vision for transport improvements across Tees Valley. Summer 2023
Stage 2 - Public engagement looking at key issues and opportunities around potential transport solutions. Summer 2024
Stage 3 - Specific consultations after transport plans are further developed with public feedback taken onboard. Later in 2024/2025

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