Redesigned plans for the £30 million Lincoln Transport Hub scheme will go before councillors later this month, with closures set for four car parks and a temporary bus station in place for 18 months.
As previously reported, the plans for the hub were revised in January 2016, splitting the project into two phases.
The first phase, which no longer includes a dual-purpose footbridge, will now begin earlier than anticipated.
Led by City of Lincoln Council, the scheme will provide a state-of-the-art bus station and 1,000-space multi-storey car park in the city centre, along with improvements to Lincoln Central railway station and the creation of a pedestrianised plaza in St Mary’s Street, connecting the bus and rail stations.
Construction could be complete by the end of next year, and on Monday, March 14, the council’s Executive will be asked to approve the scheme submitted for planning permission, with the aim of starting on site in August this year.
Executive members will also be asked to agree that the council applies for planning permission for a temporary bus station, which would run from Tentercroft Street for around 18 months while the new bus station is constructed.
The temporary bus station would operate from August 2016 to allow the new bus station and car park to be constructed, ready for opening by the beginning of October 2017.
Car parking spaces will be lost from Tentercroft Street from June this year, while Thornbridge, Sincil Street and the St Mary’s Street NCP car parks will close in September.
The council says the work has been timed to keep disruption and the impact to a minimum, particularly during the busy Christmas period.
A number of sites have been earmarked for temporary car parks and the council is working with partners to develop those.
The city council’s Chief Executive, Angela Andrews said: “This is a hugely exciting and important project that will revitalise Lincoln city centre and encourage further growth, and we are committed to making this ambitious scheme a reality.
“Revisions to the hub layout will allow the most important elements – a much-needed new bus station, multi-storey car park and highways improvements – to be delivered sooner than we had originally anticipated.
“These superb facilities will offer an improved environment for bus passengers and increased capacity for services, while creating a more attractive and more accessible gateway to Lincoln.
“There will inevitably be significant disruption while work is progressing, but in the long-term this project will bring huge benefits this to residents, visitors, businesses and commuters – as well as our local economy.
“We have received overwhelmingly positive public support for the scheme so far and hope people will continue to be supportive and understanding as we deliver this vital project for Lincoln.”
Two other major schemes in the city centre – the East West Link Road and High Street footbridge – are scheduled for completion ahead of work starting on the hub.
Together, the schemes will improve connectivity in the city centre, complemented by a raft of other ongoing improvements in the area, including the development of the Central Market and Lincolnshire Co-op’s Cornhill Quarter redevelopment.
Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-op Ursula Lidbetter said: “The current bus station is dated and we’re in desperate need of a new modern facility in the city.
“These plans mean it will be open sooner than we expected which is good news for all of us, from businesses that depend on shoppers coming into the city, to commuters who travel to work on the bus and visitors to Lincoln.
“This is a huge project for the city and there is going to be a lot of disruption. It will be worth it because the transport hub scheme will bring so many benefits to Lincoln.
“The transport hub scheme and our plans for the regeneration of the Cornhill Quarter will see this area of the city transformed over the next few years, bringing in lots more customers and further investment.”
The city council continues to work closely with partners Lincolnshire Co-op, Network Rail, East Midlands Trains, Lincolnshire County Council and the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership to develop and deliver a state-of-the-art transport hub for Lincoln.
As part of the scheme, Network Rail will also construct a 240 capacity cycle hub and other station improvements.
In early 2014 the transport hub project was awarded £11 million indicative funding through the Single Local Growth Fund from the Department for Transport.
A final business case is being prepared for submission to the Department for Transport in June and a decision on confirmed funding is expected in July to enable the project to progress.