County Durham Travel & Transport

The transport system in the County Durham offers visitors a number of ways to get around from public transport such as buses and trains to using the road with car hire and coaches.

Local bus services in County Durham provide services to local areas and across the county, with a number of routes covering the City of Durham and local towns including Hartlepool, Stock-on-Tees, Chester-le-Street and Darlington.

Details of local bus services and timetables can be found at County Durham Buses

Trains in County Durham serve a number of routes across the county and to other areas. There are several mainline rail routes offering local and regional services. Durham Station is on the East Coast Main Line route and has services to London King’s Cross station with a journey time of approx 3 hours. There are local services to Darlington, Chester-le-Street and Newcastle and further to Sheffield, Derby, Birmingham, Reading, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Train services are provided by several train operators including East Coast and Cross Country Trains and Northern Rail

Other railway stations in County Durham include Chester-le-Street, Hartlepool, Darlington, and Stockton stations.

For more information please see National Rail Enquiries

Public Transport Safety Tips
Most journeys on public transport in County Durham go ahead without incident, in order to minimise the chances of any incidents, passengers may wish to consider the following safety tips:

- Be aware of your belongings at all times.
- Do not leave your bags and belongings unattended at any time.
- Stay alert and aware of your environment and those around you.
- Do not show valuables including money and jewellery in public.
- If you are carrying a bag/handbag, ensure you use a bag that has a strong good quality strap and wear it across your shoulder (not on your shoulder), with the pockets closed facing towards your waist. Carrying the bag on your shoulder makes it much easier for criminals to snatch the bag or cut the strap.
- Be careful and cautious in crowds and beware of pickpockets, do not leave anything valuable showing in public including wallets in back trouser pockets.
- Sit in carriages with other passengers do not sit in carriages with no/fewer passengers.
- Try not to use smaller/isolated stations especially at night.
- When waiting for buses, trains, boats and taxis stand with other passengers in an area that is well lit, do not stand/wait in isolated areas.

There are a number of car hire firms in County Durham that offer car rental services for both short and longer term car hire offering a range of vehicles from small budget cars to family cars to larger mini-buses and luxury cars.

Durham is connected to the road network via the A1(M), A1 and A68. London to Durham by car via the M1 and A1(M) is a drive of approx 5 to 6 hours depending on traffic. Other major roads around the county include the A66, A688 and A691.

Parking in Durham city centre includes a number of pay and display and pay on exit car parks. Major car parks in Durham city centre include surface car parks located at the Railway Station, Sidegate and the Sands. Multi storey car parks are located at Walkergate, Riverside, The Gates and Prince Bishops.

There are Park & Ride schemes in operation in Belmont, Howlands and Sniperley, where drivers can park in designated areas in the outskirts of the city centre and get a bus in to Durham city centre. For more information please see: Durham Park & Ride

Drivers should note there may be driving restrictions in and around the city and town centres. It is recommended visitors ensure they fully understand the local parking rules before parking and help avoid unnecessary fines and worry.

County Durham’s location close to the North West English coast makes it convenient to use ferries to get to the county. DFDS Seaways offers services from Amsterdam in Holland to North Shields, Newcastle.

County Durham is accessible by coach with regular coach services available to Durham from London Victoria coach station, the journey time from London to Durham is between 6 and 7 hours depending on the service, time of day & traffic. There are also services from London to Hartlepool, Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham. Coach services are provided by National Express.

Megabus provides services from London Victoria Coach Station to Newcastle, the approx journey time is between 6 hours and 7 hours 15 minutes depending on the service, time of day and traffic. From Newcastle there are rail services available to Durham railway station, the journey time is 20 minutes.

Whilst travelling by coach to County Durham is usually more time consuming than using rail and road, it is usually more cost effective.

Durham Tees Valley Airport is located approx a 40 minute drive (25 miles) from the City of Durham, the airport caters for a number of local, regional and international flights. Newcastle Airport is located 25 miles north of Durham. Both airports are conveniently located for good access to County Durham.

For more information on public transport in County Durham including information on public transport and timetables please see: Durham Transport from Durham’s Councils.

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