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Opposition mounting to Stagecoach's Carlisle bus station plan

Opposition is mounting to Stagecoach’s plan to move Carlisle’s bus station to Court Square, in front of the Citadel railway station.

Claire Flint photo
Claire Flint

But the proposal has triggered fresh calls for a bus/rail interchange.

The News & Star reported on Thursday that Stagecoach’s lease on the bus station in Lonsdale Street will expire in 2015.

Rather than renew it, the company would prefer to use Court Square.

Short-stay parking spaces would go to make way for buses.

The vast majority of 30-plus comments posted on the News & Star’s website were hostile to the idea.

Now MP John Stevenson and Claire Flint, general manager of the Hallmark Hotel, have spoken against it.

Miss Flint is worried that noise from buses would disturb guests’ sleep.

The four-star hotel overlooks Court Square.

She said: “Court Square is busy enough. The congestion outside on a daily basis is horrendous.

“Court Square is the first thing that rail passengers see when they arrive and a bus station isn’t a very good first impression. It’s not what Carlisle should be about.”

Mr Stevenson is sympathetic to Stagecoach’s case but believes Court Square is the wrong place.

The Conservative MP said: “It’s already too congested and extremely busy at peak times.

“If you’re going to have a transport hub, the logical place is on the other side of the station.

“The space is there although it would involve remodelling the station and moving the booking hall.

Under Mr Stevenson’s plan, access to the bus station would be from Victoria Viaduct.

James Street baths would probably have to be demolished.

That could happen only if a new 25-metre pool is built at the Sands Centre.

The MP also believes Stagecoach should wait until the new franchise for the West Coast Main Line is awarded later this year. Whoever wins it will have greater scope to develop the station and facilities.

The current franchise holder, Virgin Trains, is part owned by Stagecoach.

Virgin declined to comment on Stagecoach’s proposal until after the new franchise is awarded.

Mr Stevenson’s views echo comments posted at

One person wrote: “The loudest possible ‘no’ to the construction of a Stagecoach facility in Court Square.

“Horrendous. The move will leave that Lonsdale Street to Lowther Street area even more desolate than it is.”

Another said: “Whilst having an integrated transport hub is a good idea, putting a bus station in front of the [railway] station is ridiculous.”

Several posters suggested other sites for a bus station including Rickergate, Viaduct Estate and the car park next to Iceland in Lowther Street.

Have your say

Why doesn't some one make a decision and let us know soon what's happening with bus station next year

Posted by peter hanson on 11 March 2014 at 01:53

Has any one decided wwhat to do with the bus station once lease has ran out someone needs to make a decision

Posted by peter on 11 March 2014 at 01:49

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