New Hanley bus station is finally ready to roll
PASSENGERS will be boarding buses at the city's new £15 million station by the end of the month.
The bus station in Hanley will open for the first time on March 26 after months of delays surrounding the much-awaited launch date.
And residents will be given a preview of the facility on the morning of March 23, with disabled users offered a tour two days later.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has confirmed its highways workers will be working overnight ahead of the official opening to prepare the city centre's road network. Amendments to accommodate the new station and widespread public realm have involved changes to one way streets, bus stops and traffic flow.
Council leader Mohammed Pervez, right, says the new facility will help kick-start a transition for the whole of the Potteries.
He said: "The opening of this bus station marks the start of a journey to transform our city centre and the whole city.
"Even during these economically challenging times we are working very hard to create the right conditions for jobs and growth.
"For too long our people raised concerns about the state of the old bus station and we have listened."
The new facility, located opposite the old station on the site of the former outdoor John Street car park, will boast 22 waiting bays for buses – nine fewer than its predecessor.
Additional spaces will be set up on Hinde Street. The authority has argued the decision was made to help maximise city centre land, with passengers assured they will notice no change in the quality of service.
The new station will also boast waiting facilities, an information office, touch-screen bus journey planners, a convenience store and toilets.
A Spar shop will also incorporate a GT News and a cafe. Councillor Ruth Rosenau, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transformation, said: "This new bus station is a wonderful step forward. Along with the improvements in the city centre's public realm, shoppers and other visitors will see a real difference."
Up to 120 buses are expected to travel through the station every hour.
The council had initially hoped to cut the ribbon at the station last Autumn with the opening then delayed until January. The council claims the project was held up by adverse weather conditions and the discovery of mine shafts.
Shopper Ema Lambert, aged 30, of Milton said: "I think the new station looks quite impressive. Hopefully the new facility won't have the same problems like anti-social behaviour."