Getting on board for Andover bus station redevelopment
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Plans to redevelop Andover Bus Station are moving forward with the completion of complex legal negotiations and agreements that will now allow a contractor to be appointed and work to start.
Transport capital funding of £2.9 million is set to be invested in extending and refurbishing the bus station. The finance will come from contributions from developers responsible for major commercial and housing construction schemes in the area, as part of their planning agreements to improve facilities for bus passengers. This is in addition to the junction and highway improvements that are taking place to support these developments.
Redevelopment of the bus station is an integral component of the Andover Town Access Plan. In developing the Plan, it was recognised that the capacity of the bus station would need to be increased to cope with the anticipated increase in the number of passengers and buses coming from the major development areas of East Anton, Picket Twenty and Andover Airfield.
The new facilities will provide the following benefits:
- additional space for buses and coaches;
- an enclosed waiting and internal seating area;
- a bus enquiry office staffed by the main bus operator,
- a café,
- a Shopmobility facility to enable people with restricted mobility to hire mobility scooters or wheelchairs;
- office accommodation for the bus operator; and
- electronic passenger information systems.
Councillor Ken Thornber, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: "Encouraging greater choice in transport, particularly in our towns and new development areas is one of the County Council's aims in improving quality of life for residents and reducing congestion on our roads. A new bus station would make a significant contribution to improving bus travel to and from Andover. There are clearly benefits for bus users with passengers being able to enjoy a more comfortable waiting area and regularly updated travel information. A new café will give passengers the chance to get some refreshment while they wait for their bus. Relocation of the Shopmobility service in the new bus station, will also make it easier for those with mobility difficulties to get from the bus to the shops both in the Chantry Centre and the town."
Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Ian Carr said "The redevelopment of the bus station highlights an important investment in the future of Andover. With the developments at East Anton, Andover Airfield and Picket Twenty, it is important that bus services expand to support this economic growth, The enhancement also fits well with the aspirations of the recent Andover Summit to revitalise the town. The redevelopment of the bus station will deliver an enclosed, welcoming and comfortable place to wait for a bus, greatly improving the facilities for existing and new bus passengers visiting the town."
During the construction period the bus station will be closed and arrangements will be in place for temporary bus stops to be located nearby. More details of the arrangements will be available nearer the construction start time. The pedestrian link through the bus station into the Chantry Centre will be maintained while work is underway.
Work is expected to start in Spring 2013 and will take approximately 12 months to complete. Test Valley Borough Council and Friends Life plc will retain ownership of the bus station and Stagecoach will be the principal bus provider operating out of the bus station.