Plans for a £25 million transport hub in the centre of Lincoln have been revealed, including a new bus and train station, a 1,000 space car park and new pedestrian footbridges.
The scheme would be led by the City of Lincoln Council in partnership with Lincolnshire Co-op and Network Rail, working with East Midlands Trains and Lincolnshire County Council.
Subject to planning consent and the acquirement of extra funding, work is planned to start on the site in September 2016 and be constructed within two and a half years.
The project would involve demolishing the existing outdated bus station and building a new fit-for-purpose facility next to the train station – also earmarked for upgrades.
The bus station is currently used by 30,000 people per day and around 7 million a year.
Both the pedestrian footbridge and platform footbridge over the railway would also be demolished, to be replaced by a dual function footbridge between Tentercroft Street and St Mary’s Street.
The footbridges would provide connections onto the railway station platforms, access to the new bus station and improving links between the north and south of the city centre.
A new multi-storey car park – with space for 1,000 vehicles and pay on exit facilities – would be built on the site of the current bus station, supporting the hub and the high street.
There will be additional benefits for cyclists, including cycle spaces and lanes.
The city council say 30% of the construction costs and 20% of the labour would be from within 10 miles of Lincoln.
Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the city council, said: “This is a huge scheme that would bring equally huge benefits to all who live and work in Lincoln, and importantly to those who visit the city and invest in it as well.
“As a council we want to ensure the vitality of our city centre. A transport interchange in the heart of the city, serving residents, businesses and visitors, will not only regenerate the area but is key to achieving the growth the city needs.”
Kate Ellis, Assistant Director for Planning and Regeneration at the City of Lincoln Council, said: “Once Lincoln has a new fit-for-purpose bus station that people actually feel safe using then I think we’ll see more busses put on and more evening services.
“We’re also looking at the design of the bus station to make it easier for people to know where the hub is.
“When we do get more direct trains and improved services both to Nottingham and to London that passenger increase will gradually start to feed through.”
MP for Lincoln Karl McCartney added: “It is, of course, also a priority that we do all we can to improve our transport system so that we continue to encourage more visitors to Lincoln and the money they bring with them that supports our local shops, tourist attractions and jobs.
“It is a pity this was not done ahead of the Magna Carta’s 800th Anniversary celebrations this year, but I am continuing to work to bring together representatives of organisations and businesses to seek to enhance and facilitate improvements to our city and its hinterland.”
Funding the first phase
On January 19 City of Lincoln Council’s Executive will be asked to support the development of the scheme by committing a further £760,470 of capital funds to allow a planning application to be submitted.
If the additional funding is agreed by the Executive it will bring the total committed to the project to £1.3 million.
This will be followed by a four-week public consultation from January 26, during which the city council is asking for feedback and hosting drop-in sessions.
In early 2014, the project received £11 million indicative funding through the Single Local Growth Fund from the Department for Transport, from the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The remainder of the funding would come from other project partners.
Angela Andrews, acting chief executive sponsoring the project from the corporate management team: “This is a huge project for the city council both financially and organisationally.
“As yet we haven’t contracted for the pricing for this so we have estimated around £25 million for all the elements of this scheme.
“There will be some public funds going into the project potentially from ourselves and the county council but the private and the LEP funding.
“The four-week public consultation starts on January 26 so the public and others of the existing bus station and rail users will be able to influence what they think it should be.”
The city council say there would be some disruption during the construction of the different elements of the scheme and commuters, residents and visitors will be made aware of possible road closures.
The existing bus station will continue to operate as normal while construction is ongoing and bus services will not be affected.
Similarly, the train station will continue to operate but there will be disruptions to services once the footbridges are underway.
There would be some loss of car parking spaces at Thornbridge roof top car park, above the bus station, until the new multi-storey is built.
Kate Ellis added: “We have to do the bus station first on the site that’s used by Network Rail for its operation and its customer car park. Those using the train station will park at the Tentercroft Street car park.
“Once that’s up and capable of being operated then that enables us to demolish the existing station to make way for the multi-storey car park. The new footbridges will also be completed in the early stages.
“Highway improvements will be put in alongside the development of the bus station. There is bound to be disruption but because by this time the East West Link Road will be completed it means people will have an alternative route.”