A COUNCILLOR has promised a new bus terminal will be built in Colchester’s Osborne Street.

The bus station in Queen Street will close in December next year.

It was initially hoped a bus station would be built as part of the Vineyard Gate retail development, but the recession has delayed the project.

Lyn Barton, the councillor responsible for the regeneration of the town’s St Botolph’s area, has pledged there will be a bus station.

She said a building with a cafe and toilets would be created at the junction of Stanwell Street.

She added: “We have spoken to all the major bus operators.

“In principle, most of them accept the extra traffic can be accommodated in the Osborne Street area.

“The new facilities will mean passengers can sit in the cafe and will be informed via technology when their bus is coming.”

Debate has raged for a decade over proposals to move the bus station, with Osborne Street being frequently offered as the solution.

In May 2001 it was suggested the bus station could be merged with Colchester Town railway station to form a combined transport centre. Two years later, a transport interchange was suggested for Osborne Street when plans were unveiled for the new gallery on the site of the bus station in Queen Street.

In April 2004, an underground bus park was proposed beneath the bingo hall in Osborne Street, but the plans were ditched following a storm of protests.

The Save Our Bus Station campaign was launched in October 2004 and more than 20,000 people signed a petition against plans to move the bus station from its site in Queen Street in 2005.

In the same month a plan was revealed suggesting widening Osborne Street and creating a two-lane super bus park.

Campaigners celebrated after Colchester Council set up a temporary bus station on the Queen Street site in May 2006, but this will close next year.