Plans revealed for Northampton’s new bus station

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TAXPAYERS will not foot the bill for running costs of Northampton’s new bus station, if draft plans for the project are backed by the public.

The new building will be on the current site of the Fishmarket and should be housing buses and passengers by the summer of 2013.

Suggestions by a number of pensioner and youth forums, revealed at the Guildhall yesterday, included a cafe and another shop to fill two planned units.

Borough councillor Tim Hadland (Con, New Duston) said he hoped that such schemes would offset running costs of the building to zero.

Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member for transport, added: “It’s very important that the building provides income as well as a service. It has to be a balance between the two.”

New artist’s impressions of the planned building show bus bays will be in the open with passengers waiting inside nearby.

The whole complex, which will boast 16 bays with a further four in The Drapery nearby, will also be entirely on ground level, removing the problem of escalators, which have frequently been out of order at the current Greyfriars station.

Councillor Hadland said: “We’ve tried to improve on things that are known to be problems about Greyfriars.

“For example, we know that two of the things people dislike about the current bus station are the underpasses and the escalators and lifts.

“This will give better access to Northampton town centre for disabled people as well as everyone else.”

The presentation marks the start of a consultation with the public over facilities that may be part of the scheme.

Possible core services include an information centre, toilets, bicycle storage and real-time timetable information.

The new station plans have come about because the planning quango, the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC), recently awarded £8 million of Government money to speed the project along.

Half the money – as well as extra funds from Northampton Borough Council – will be spent on constructing the new station on and the rest will buy out Stagecoach’s lease on the Greyfriars building.

Exhibitions to help passengers decide the make-up of the new bus station will start in January.

SUGGESTIONS of possible facilities when the Northampton bus station is moved to the current Fishmarket site

Core facilities:

- ticketing / information centre

- waiting area / concourse

- public WCs & baby change

- real-time and timetable information

- bin provision

- covered bicycle storage

- staff facilities

- drivers’ WC

- cleaning store

- plant room

- bin store

- CCTV provision

- advertising provision

Desirable facilities:

- café / retail opportunities

- vending machines

- self-service ticket machines

- shop mobility satellite unit