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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Stagecoach eyes Carlisle bus station move

A city centre transport hub is being proposed to bring bus and train services together.

A potential bus station move would see a new facility built at Court Square in front of the railway station.

Stagecoach’s lease on the bus station in Lonsdale Street expires in the summer of 2015 and the company is not keen to renew it.

Stagecoach recently improved facilities, following complaints from city councillor Judy Prest, but sees this as a stop gap.

Nigel Winter, managing director of Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire, said: “We have opened a waiting room, installed bum perches in the shelters and done some painting and general tidying up. But it’s not a 21st-century facility and it never will be.”

His solution is to move short-stay car parking from Court Square to make way for a bus/rail interchange.

Stagecoach’s Citi services already call near the Citadel station. Northbound buses stop in English Street outside The Courts while southbound buses stop in The Crescent.

The interchange would cater for longer-distances routes - buses from Brampton, Silloth, Wigton, Keswick and west Cumbria, for example - which currently use the bus station.

Mr Winter added: “It would be a transport hub and is just as near the shops as Lonsdale Street is.”

Another option is to make English Street ‘buses only’ between the Citadel and Victoria Viaduct. Diverting traffic would create space for an island with bus stops.

Carlisle City Council and MP John Stevenson have put forward tentative plans for a bus/rail interchange on the other side of the Citadel Station, at the top of James Street.

But this scheme depends on the council selling land at Morton for a supermarket. The money raised would pay for a new swimming pool at the Sands Centre, allowing James Street baths to be demolished. As such, it is probably years away and would not meet Stagecoach’s 2015 deadline.

The company has outlined its ideas to Cumbria County Council and is awaiting a response.

Councillor Cyril Weber, chairman of the county’s Carlisle local committee, said: “It’s early days. We would have to see the details of their proposals.”

Another option, he believes, is to build a bus station on the site of the Civic Centre in Rickergate if the city council moves to Botchergate to share proposed new offices with the county council.

Meanwhile, Mrs Prest is keen to investigate Stagecoach’s suggestion.

She said: “The seating is a great help. I think they’ve done everything they can given the short lease. We need a bus/rail interchange and that is what we should be working towards.”

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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