Poll: Plans for new �2million bus station unveiled in Colchester

CONCERNS have been raised over plans for a new �2million bus facility in Colchester which were unveiled yesterday.

The site in Osborne and Stanwell Streets will include nine stops, a waiting room, refurbished toilets, canopies and two new shelters. Information pods will display travel and general visitor information.

One member of staff will be employed initially when the station opens while passengers get used to the new site.

The designs were shown to the public for the first time yesterday by Colchester Borough Council alongside future developments for the town centre.

Planning officers from Colchester and Essex County Councils spent 18 months planning the new facility in consultation with bus companies.

But in December, councillors conceded that the new station would not be a state-of-the-art facility due to a lack of money. The bulk of the �2million is coming from developer’s under a 106 Agreement.

Secretary of Colchester Bus Users Group Peter Kay said: “We remain concerned that the capacity is going to be insufficient after the Vineyard Gate shopping centre opens, especially with the increasing growth of the town and extra bus services that they are bringing in.

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“I think it will work on day one but it won’t work on day 1,000.”

He said 30 National Express coaches will use the station everyday following the introduction of the new airport shuttle service, while daily services to London would also be increased, causing more strain on the new station.

“It doesn’t allow any room for expansion - it’s tight on day one,” he added.

Work on the new station will start at the end of July and is expected to be finished by mid November.

Colchester Borough Council’s regeneration project manager Fiona Duhamel said: “It will need careful management, but the site will support what is already being done around the town, with additional stops in places such as Queen Street.

“With Vineyard Gate shopping centre proposals coming forward, the station will also encourage people to travel by bus.”

The new plans are on display at St Nicholas House on Saturday between 10am and 4pm or can be viewed online at www.colchester.gov.uk