Campaigners stage bus station protest

By Juliette MaxamPROTESTERS opposed to the relocation of a bus station to make way for a new art gallery have staged a demonstrated outside a town hall.

By Juliette Maxam

PROTESTERS opposed to the relocation of a bus station to make way for a new art gallery have staged a demonstrated outside a town hall.

Friends of the Earth, Colchester Pensioners' Action Group and bus users took part in the protest yesterday outside Colchester Town Hall.

Colchester Borough Council is planning to move the town's bus station from its current site off Queen Street to make way for a multi-million-pound visual arts facility.


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The bus station would be relocated on a smaller scale in Osborne Street as part of the redevelopment of the St Botolph's quarter.

The campaigners staged their protest in the hope of swaying the minds of councillors who were holding a cabinet meeting at the Town Hall.

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Hildegard Hall, of Colchester Friends of the Earth, said: “We are trying to get as many ideas to people who take the decisions to stop them from axing the bus park in Queen Street.

“The alternative is far too small. A bus station and visual arts facility can exist side by side. There's no reason why not. It would be nice to have a visual arts facility next door to a state-of-the-art bus stop.

“The visual arts facility is a major attraction, but I don't want to see public transport sacrificed.”

After the demonstration, which won the support of many bus drivers who hooted as they went past, the protesters went inside the Town Hall to take part in the meeting.

However, the council's cabinet agreed the draft masterplan for the St Botolph's quarter - including the new bus station proposal - and there will now be period of public consultation about the scheme.

juliette.maxam@eadt.co.uk

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