Leicester's Haymarket Bus Station £10.5 million revamp unveiled
Plans for a £10.5 million overhaul of one of Leicester’s main city centre bus stations have been unveiled.
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby today outlined the multi-million pound scheme to refurbish and expand the existing 1994-built Haymarket Bus station.
Sir Peter said the current set-up in Charles Street, was both chaotic and congested and the new design would improve the area for passengers and bus operators.
Currently some 20,000 people use the station every day.
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The council says when completed the development, which includes an additional 11 stands, will see the number of buses every hour increase from 40 to 60 during the day.
It has agreed terms to buy several shops at the corner of Charles Street and Belgrave Gate which it intends to demolish.
The existing roundabout will be replaced with a new road layout.
The project is set to be funded largely by the sale of city council-owned land on the edge of Leicester for development.
Sir Peter said: “Charles Street is right at the heart of bus provision in the city and is the place that serves routes to the estates but what we have there currently is pretty chaotic and not fit for purpose.
“These plans will enable much-needed improvements to be made to city centre bus travel, as well as making the area more attractive for all visitors.
"By expanding the bus station we can have a greater impact on easing bus congestion and queuing, as well as providing a larger, modern facility fit for current needs and future growth.”
The project is a rethink of a previous plan that failed to attract a £5 million Government grant last year.
If the scheme gets planning permission, preliminary work could begin in the summer and take two years to complete.
The council has said it is in talks with businesses that face relocation about finding new premises but some told the Mercury they did not want to go.
McIndians owner Imtiaz Mulla, who has leased his takeaway for 24 years, said: “We would not go by choices. I suppose it’s progress.
“Hopefully we can find somewhere else nearby. We were told the have to but the council hasn’t really given us any help.
“It’s not the first time there have been proposals for the bus station but they have never happened. Perhaps they are more confident this time.”
Vinod Pala’s shop, Bijal Jewellers also faces demolition.
The 57-year-old said: “I’ve been here 30 years and it is a good spot. “I’m worried about finding somewhere else because I have a good deal with the rent which I can afford.
“I wanted to stay here until I retire. It will take me five years to re-establish my business if I can find somewhere else. If I can’t find another place who will give me a job? I don’t know.”
As part of the plans, bus stops along Belgrave Gate will be relocated to the Haymarket preventing the need for buses to travel past the Clock Tower and down Churchgate.
That, in turn, would allow the streets pedestrianisation at a future date.
Sir Peter said: “It would give us the opportunity to re-pedestrianise Churchgate. The traders have talked about there wish to see that happen and I am very sympathetic to that.
“It is a small street and not one well-suited to big buses.”
Steve Zanker, general manager of First buses, said: “It is congested at the moment and these proposals would make things easier for our buses and therefore our passengers.
“It looks like it will improve the environment down there.”
The council has also bid for £3.5million of funding from the Department for Transport's Local Pinch Point Fund.
The overall scheme does not depend on the bid’s success but the cash would pay for the building of a steel and glass concourse
running the length of the new bus station, providing high quality, modern waiting facilities and a café for passengers.
The council has launched a consultation on its plans which will last until March 22.
How to have your say on the plans
Visit the website: http://consultations.leicester.gov.uk
Visit the city council's display in the
Charles Street entrance of the Haymarket Shopping Centre on the following dates:
*Friday, March 1, 11am-6pm
*Saturday, March 2, 10am-2.30pm
*Monday, March 4, 8am-2pm
Post your comment to: Freepost LE985/14, Haymarket Bus Station Consultation, Planning and Transportation,
Leicester City Council, A6 New Walk Centre, Welford Place, Leicester LE1 6ZG.