Bus station changes 'create confusion'

FURTHER changes being made at Colchester's open-air bus station should not directly affect passengers, it has been claimed.

By Roddy Ashworth

FURTHER changes being made at Colchester's open-air bus station should not directly affect passengers, it has been claimed.

But yesterday some users of the facility said the ongoing transition to a temporary facility had already caused confusion and that a lack of information only added to the problems.

Colchester Borough Council is currently managing a phased transfer from its open-air Queen Street bus station to a temporary terminal on the edge of the existing site.

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The move will allow the construction of a controversial £16.5million visual arts facility and forms part of the St Botolph's regeneration project.

But a permanent site for a new, state-of-the-art covered bus station - to be part of a large retail development - has yet to be formally identified, and many bus users have objected to the current facility's closure.

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Passengers are currently using stops at the north half of the former station while work is carried out on the south.

As from this week, buses will no longer use the Queen Street entrance to the bus station and will only use the East Hill entrance.

Buses and coaches will, however, continue to use the eight stops in the top half of the bus station.

Meanwhile taxis and cars will continue to use the Queen Street entrance to access the site.

In May, the bus stops will transfer to the south side of the site, and the north side will be screened off.

Howard Davies, the borough council's St Botolph's project officer, said: “We would like passengers for bearing with us while the work is carried out.

“There will be some disruption over the coming weeks while the work progresses - however, we have been working closely with the bus companies and others to make sure this is kept to an absolute minimum.”

But Timothy Oxton, of pressure group Save Our Bus Station, said: “The current arrangements are totally inadequate and unacceptable. It is chaotic for people using the bus station.

“There were some advisors with clipboards for a week, but they have been withdrawn, and they were of limited help because they did not know a lot of the answers.”

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