Nearly 900 sign petitions calling for Northampton's 'disgraceful' coach stop to be improved

Dagmar King's petition to improve the facilities at Northampton's coach station has been handed in at the Guildhall.
Dagmar King's petition to improve the facilities at Northampton's coach station has been handed in at the Guildhall.
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A dire set of shelters on the edge of a "wasteland" where children have to "do their business on the street"  - was how the town's National Express terminal was described at a council meeting.

The controlling Conservative group on Northampton Borough Council has now confirmed it will hold a consultation about putting a new coach station at the Greyfriars site after two petitions - signed by about 900 people - called for improvements to the current Victoria Street facilities at Monday night's full council meeting.

Dagmar King took this picture in Victoria Street to show how the town's coach facilities leave a lot to be desired.

Dagmar King took this picture in Victoria Street to show how the town's coach facilities leave a lot to be desired.

Pensioner Dagmar King's 511-name petition, which called for six benches and two working toilets to be installed in Victoria Street as a short-term measure, was the first to be heard.

She said: "There is extreme discomfort for passengers of all ages there, the toilets never work and I don't think having passengers waiting for the toilets there is okay. I really don't.

"Victoria Street coach station is a disgrace."

The Liberal Democrat group also handed in a 350-name petition calling for the council to make sure any new coach station built as part of the Greyfriars development are a credit to the town rather than "an indictment of this council."

The names were gathered over just two hours at an event in Market Square.

Lib Dem group leader, Councillor Sally Beardsworth, said: "When you built North Gate, you forgot about the coach passengers - you left them in a car park.

"I thought I would remind you that you should talk to people that elected you.

"A lot of people are saying they want proper facilities for people visiting Northampton.

"All I'm saying is talk to the people who use the coaches - let's not make a mess of this."

Councillor Dennis Meredith (Lib Dem, Talavera), said the lack of toilet facilities in Victoria Street mean children are having to "do what they have to do" in the road.

But the petitions appeared to stir a response from the controlling Conservative group at the Guildhall.

Cabinet member for regeneration Councillor Tim Hadland (Con, Old Duston) acknowledged people are unhappy with the coach facilities and even referred to it as being sited next to a "wasteland".

After learning of Mrs King's petition, two of the six benches she has asked for have been installed in Victoria Street.

He then went on to propose a motion saying the council "will carry out a consultation with coach users and operators, taxi providers and the general public" with regards the proposed new coach facility at Greyfriars.

That development, which will also see a cinema, flats, retail and restaurants built on the four-acre site, is four years away from completion, though the council has promised to build the coach station first.