5:00pm Wednesday 4th July 2012
By Wendy Brading
COLCHESTER’S Lib Dem MP has attacked blueprints for the town’s new bus station – drawn up by the Lib Dem-led council.
Sir Bob Russell described the bus station plans for Osborne Street as inadequate.
He said it would not go close to replacing the temporary bus station in East Hill/Queen Street, which will close at the end of the year.
Sir Bob said: “I am glad something is going in at Osborne Street, but this is not a replacement for the bus station.
“It is not a bus station – it is no more than bus stops on the highway.
“It is completely inadequate, trying to get a quart into a pint pot and it is emphatically not a bus station.”
“We have had potentially one of the best bus stations in the country and it has been moved off to make way for the visual arts facility.
“I spoke to the drivers when there was the practice run up at the Weston Homes stadium and they said the proposal was OK in principle but would not work in practice.
“I still don’t know where the tourist coaches will stop?”
The bus station off East Hill will close at the end of the year to allow landscaping to be completed at Colchester’s Firstsite gallery.
Sir Bob has been an enduring critic of the gallery.
Colchester Council, which is run by a coalition of Lib Dems, Labour and Independent councillors, has sourced £2 million of funding to create the new bus station.
It will be used to create bus stops and laybys in Osborne Street and Stanwell Street, refurbished toilets in Osborne Street, a waiting room for 21 people and a canopy to shelter people waiting outside.
It will also feature information boards and a drinks machine.
Work is due to start on July 30 and should end by November 19.
Lyn Barton, Colchester’s councillor with responsibility for regeneration, said the scheme was designed to reflect bus users’ priorities.
l On a poll on the Gazette’s website, 63 per cent of people gave the bus station plans the thumbs down and 37 per cent supported them.
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