Leader of Northampton Borough Council David Mackintosh said yesterday’s delays at the North Gate bus station were the result of ‘unknown factors’, including cars using bus and taxi-only lanes.
So far today the £7million facility was operating smoothly thanks in part to new ‘give way’ signs installed on Bradshaw Street, which is allowing buses right of way when exiting the station forecourt.
A yellow box junction was also painted overnight at the junction between Sheep Street and Bradshaw Street to keep traffic flowing also and a police presence remains in place today.
Councillor Mackintosh said the measures were installed after members of the borough and county councils met with police and bosses of bus company Stagecoach last night to decide how best to tackle yesterday’s issues.
Speaking at the station this afternoon, he said: “We have made a number of changes to the infrastructure around the town to try and improve the situation.
“As the buses were leaving the station there was a problem with traffic giving way. There are now give way signs to allow buses the right of way going out.”
But he went on to say: “The other issue is that when you have a new facility you have bus drivers getting used to new routes and timetables.
“We are also currently working very closely with police around enforcement issues.
“There are areas around the town where cars aren’t allowed to go - but we found that, with The Drapery, cars were using it. We will now enforce that so they won’t.”
When asked whether the council could have predicted yesterday’s chaos, he said: “The difficulty is the unknown factors that you don’t see.
“There are always teething issues with major changes like this.”
Conservative MP for Northampton South Brian Binley said he would be talking to the borough council and was confident the bus station could be a success in the future.
“I’m sure we just have to give the matter time,” he said. “I’m sure that the experts will sort this out.
“If they don’t, they deserve a kick in the private parts - big time.”