There’s a lot wrong with the cycling infrastructure in the City of Durham, so it’s nice to report when and where the Highways Authority have done the right thing. This “No Through Road” at Percy Terrace makes an exception for cyclists, giving access to the city centre from the A167 via The Avenue. It’s likely the road was closed at this end because of the problems of getting traffic out onto the A167 at what is essentially a hair-pin turn, or perhaps the temptation to use The Avenue as a rat-run to avoid the lights at the bottom of Crossgate Peth.
This feature is an example of a concept known as “filtered permeability” which makes streets safer for walking and cycling by preventing through car traffic which ought to be using a nearby main road. There are various techniques to achieve this, from bollards and barriers to careful use of one-way streets. Durham is a very good city for walking because of the large number of footpath connections, which can make your journey shorter than by car as well as more pleasant. But there are rather fewer examples in Durham of roads closed to through-traffic with exceptions to allow cycling.
If you know of other roads in the city which are closed to traffic but could be made accessible by bike, let us know.
It was because it was being used as a rat-run and because there were a lot of accidents at the slight bend half way down the hill (i.e. outside my house) where cars would lose control especially in icy conditions.
This still happens, but to cyclists. At least two have come off and needed to be taken to the A&E in the past two or three years. There are now warning signs about icy conditions on the bollards in your picture.