Proposals for new Stevenage bus station given green light
- Credit: Archant
A long-awaited bus station in Stevenage has been given the go-ahead after a planning application was approved by councillors last week.
The new bus interchange, on Lytton Way, will be situated on the site of the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre car park and it is hoped will dramatically improve pedestrian and transport links to Stevenage railway station.
At a meeting of the planning committee last Thursday, lead officer Zayd Al-Jawad said the development will “help the wider regeneration of Stevenage town centre” and is a key part of the Local Plan’s pledge to “deliver greater transport connectivity in Stevenage”.
The plan also includes an accommodation building and concourse area, which will hold a café retail unit, shop mobility store, waiting area, and new storage unit under the footbridge.
At the meeting, councillors raised concerns over the safety of a toucan crossing which will connect Lytton Way and the train station, with many arguing that pedestrians crossing the busy dual carriageway “may lead to accidents”.
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The Highways Authority has approved the plan however, concluding that the crossing “does not prejudice highway safety” – in part because the plan will involve the narrowing of Lytton Way from three lanes to two lanes.
Residents will also still be able to use the existing footbridge and walk-through route via the Leisure Centre.
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Principal planner James Chettleburgh also assuaged councillors’ reservations over the losses to car parking capacity, since the Arts and Leisure Centre car park is currently the busiest facility in the town centre.
Mr Chettleborough argued that the capacity can be “absorbed by existing car parks” – namely St George’s – and the application will not result in any “net loss” of car parking space.
Following the meeting, David Martin, secretary of the Stevenage Bus Users Group, said: “On behalf of BUGS, we would like to commend the staff of SBC for their hard work on the production of the comprehensive plans and for listening actively to the needs of bus users of all kinds and interested members of the public alike, to at last bring this long-needed development to this stage.”
The facility is expected to open in 2021.