Following on from GMPTE’s public consultation about the proposed redevelopment of Altrincham Interchange, a second round of consultation on the design of the proposed new bus/rail interchange in Bolton is launched. The new bus station will be located on land bordered by Great Moor Street and the railway lines to Preston and Blackburn, connected to the railway station and the small existing bus interchange by a pedestrian footbridge. This ought to make it easier for passengers to change between bus and train, although there has been some concern that the new facility will make access to the market more difficult.
Whereas GMPTE have previously favoured drive-in/drive-out layouts for their bus stations, the majority of stands in the new design will be of the drive-in/reverse-out layout – presumably due to the limited space. On the plans we count eighteen stands which will require the bus to reverse compared to only five of the older style. We hope that GMPTE have left enough space for circulation of passengers: our experience of such designs is that there can be big crowds at peak times when the stands are so close to one another. Also included in the designs are a cafe, Travelshop, toilets, lifts, cycle parking, CCTV and electronic passenger information. With all the stands being located in one building, this should make security easier and end the practice of having evening and Sunday departures depart from different stops to the daytime services.
The cost of the new bus station will be met out of the Greater Manchester Transport Fund. Development partner Bolton Council wants to submit a detailed planning application early next year, with construction expected to begin in 2012 and be completed during 2014. The site of the existing Moor Lane bus station near the market is expected to be redeveloped, with the council eyeing such possible uses as office, residential, retail and leisure.
Staffed exhibitions are taking place in a variety of locations during October and November, with unstaffed exhibitions at Moor Lane bus station Travelshop and the One Stop Shop at Bolton Town Hall. You can view the consultation documents on the GMPTE website. The closing date for replies is 6th December 2010.