Worksop’s long-awaited new bus station has been delayed by nearly a year due to wranglings in the planning process, the Guardian can reveal.
Building the £3.2 million interchange was initially due to start this autumn, with construction taking around nine months and the facility open to passengers in summer 2014.
But Notts County Council now says work will not begin until next summer, with the aim of opening it in spring 2015.
“The new bus station remains on track for work to begin next summer for opening in spring 2015,” said project manager Paul Horn from Notts County Council.
“The county council’s engineers have been busy carrying out additional surveys, discussing the scheme with affected neighbours and updating the plans following the consultation exercise earlier this year.”
“Discussions have also been ongoing with Bassetlaw Council to finalise the remaining land ownership issues and the agreements over future running costs.”
Designs for the futuristic-looking station, which takes inspiration from Retford’s popular new interchange, were revealed back in February.
It will be situated at the junction of Newcastle Street and Watson Road, just a few hundred metres from the current Hardy Street depot, and will have eight bus bays.
It is proposed that part of Queen Street public car park, owned by Bassetlaw Council, will be used by the station. But details are still being finalised between the two authorities.
The old Worksop Business Venture Centre, numbers 30 - 34 Watson Road, the former Worksop Flowers site, and several prominent advertising billboards on the corner will all be demolished to make way for the scheme.
Station running costs would be shared between Notts County Council and Bassetlaw Council. But they are still discussing arrangements for the cleaning and upkeep of the station once it is open.
“We are also working with the neighbours of the bus station on some matters of detail including vehicular access. And additional design work is on-going, as we determine the choice of materials and as the plans are worked up in more detail for planning submission,” said Mr Horn.
“It is important to spend time getting things correct now, rather than trying to sort them out during the planning process, which is why we’ve had a public consultation, held meetings with affected neighbours, conservation officers, the police, representatives from disability groups and others.”
A full planning application was due to be submitted in June. Now that is looking more like the end of October.
A statutory planning consultation period would then follow before the application goes before the county council’s planning committee for a decision in January 2014.
Coun Kevin Greaves, who chairs the county council’s transport and highways committee, said he ‘can’t wait’ to see work begin.
“We want the people of Worksop to have a bus station of which they can be proud,” he said.
Bassetlaw Council leader Simon Greaves said the bus station was one of the hot topics he was grilled on during the recent ‘meet the leaders’ event on Worksop Market.
“We have had lots of people asking about traffic, car par parking and when the new bus station is coming along,” he said.
“We’ve been able to explain to people that things have taken time but the bus station is going to be happening.”
“It’s taken a long time to get here but I’m hoping that in the next few months we’ll have a positive decision from the county council planning committee.”