£6m vision for Grimsby bus station gets green light
THIS is the future vision of Grimsby bus station – revealed as part of a new £6 million scheme to improve public transport.
Councillors yesterday approved the first two phases of long-awaited projects on Riverhead Square and Station Approach, which it is hoped will attract extra investment and jobs to the town centre.
The work will see the relocation of the existing bus station on Riverhead Square to accommodate a possible extension of Freshney Place shopping centre.
Bus stops will instead be located on George Street, Victoria Street and Town Hall Street, with an indoor waiting area providing electronic real time information included in the shopping centre extension.
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The Station Approach project will include a cycle sales and hire facility and aims to improve links to the bus terminus, providing an attractive gateway to the town centre.
As reported, in May, North East Lincolnshire Council secured £4.3 million in Government funding for the scheme, to which the council is contributing £850,000 out of its own coffers. Since then, the authority has worked with groups, such as Eng-Age, Stagecoach, taxi drivers and North East Lincolnshire Disability Access to develop the specific plans which were unveiled yesterday.
The council has three years in which to deliver the scheme. Work will start in the spring of next year, and council bosses are aiming to have the Riverhead Square and Station Approach projects by early 2014.
Councillor Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for regeneration and environment, said: "This is terrific news for Grimsby and North East Lincolnshire and will help draw in more visitors and improve prospects for local shops and other outlets in the area. It shows we mean business and are open for business in Grimsby.
"The funding we received has allowed us to design a number of significant improvements to the public and sustainable transport networks, which will help to encourage development, create jobs and improve levels of accessibility.
"It is the final piece in the jigsaw in improving the town centre and will give the whole area a lift.
Jason Longhurst, head of development at the council, said: "We've worked closely with a number of local businesses, community transport groups and other organisations, including Stagecoach and Grosvenor, the owners of Freshney Place, to develop the proposals, so we're confident what will be delivered will be a major asset for the town centre and the people and businesses using it.
"The award of the funding for this was one of the biggest in the country and shows the town is punching above its weight in terms of attracting investment of this type."
Marc Cole, the council's strategic director of environment, economy and housing, said: "This £4.3 million of extra funding will help achieve some of the objectives highlighted in the 2009 Grimsby Town Centre Masterplan: to improve the retail offer, to have a modern and accessible transport system, and to create a favourable first impression for people arriving by train or bus.
"This project will improve the physical environment and create a series of memorable open spaces on a par with anywhere else in this part of the country."
Councillor Chris Shaw, leader of the council, said: "We had to bid against other authorities for this money so I would like to thank the officers and the portfolio holder for all their hard work in securing this funding.
"For too long we have had schemes promoted that never came to fruition. For the first time in a number of years we are now delivering major projects in North East Lincolnshire."