THIS is what Accrington’s new multi-million pound bus station will look like.
The futuristic design, released today by Lancashire County Council architects, will provide 10 bus stands on the current Crawshaw Street car park in the town centre.
Part of the Pennine Reach scheme aimed at boosting bus usage across East Lancashire the £4million-plus structure will include two bus lay-over bays and a pedestrian link to Union Street and the Arndale.
It will also feature real-time passenger information screens, travel information office, a shop mobility store, public toilets with disabled access and baby change facility, a manager’s office and CCTV.
It is hoped that the new complex will open by 2015 to link with a new £5million bus station on Blackburn’s old market site and the introduction of London Transport-style Oyster travel cards for faster boarding.
It will replace the bus station, in Peel Street, deemed ‘sub-standard’ in 2007. Hyndburn Council is in talks with the county council over options for the site, including short stay car parking to encourage shoppers to use the market.
The planning application for the scheme is set for final approval by councillors on Wednesday.
Lancashire county transport chief Tim Ashton said: “The new bus station in Accrington is a vital part of the Pennine Reach scheme which will make public transport a much more attractive option for people to travel between town centres in Hyndburn and Blackburn with Darwen.
“Making it easier for people to travel quickly and reliably are among the primary factors for economic growth.”
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said: “I am still not sure the bus station is in the right place but am pleased we do have a connection to Union Street and the Arndale.
“The evidence is that new bus stations increase passenger usage so, despite my reservations, I fully support this exciting new development.”
The proposed complex aims to improve the interchange between bus and train by locating it closer to the railway station.