A centralised bus station is set to return to Grimsby town centre by popular demand.
The council’s plan to revitalise bus usage will hopefully see a full £10million bus station created with waiting areas, a ticket office and bus times.
The hub would replace the current on-street bus stops around the town centre.
It would also see more frequent buses, including at weekends, as well as a separate study to look into the possibility of park and ride.
It is the biggest single item in the council’s roadmap for getting people back on buses, which will be used as part of a bid for £39million of government cash.
The site will be located close to the high street, with a final location yet to be chosen.
The return of a centralised bus station in the town centre was one of the biggest requests from users during a consultation.
The Riverhead bus station was replaced with on-street stops and shelters in 2013.
The council’s proposed hub would offer all the facilities travellers expect, including real-time bus information, a ticket office, toilets, seats and CCTV.
And most services would immediately call at the train station to improve travel links.
The cost has been estimated at £10million across both the 2024/25 and 2025/26 financial years.
The five-year blueprint for improved bus services says the hub would reduce the antisocial behaviour which currently deters passengers around the Riverhead.
Bus user and former councillor Keith Watkin said: “This would certainly be a major improvement. It was a mistake to get rid of the bus station in the first place.
“The anti-social behaviour and drinking around the bus shelters puts people off going into town at the moment. Hopefully this would solve that problem.
“The Riverhead would be the ideal location with the amont of land and how close it is to the bus station. Anything would be better than what we have now.
“I don’t think it will help the town centre on its own though – there needs to be some changes to make it worth travelling to.”
The council’s blueprint says: “NELC will develop and promote such a hub in Grimsby, principally by replacing the on-street bus interchange – a sub-optimally dispersed collection of stops across a cluster of nearby general-traffic streets – by a new, bespoke, high-quality bus station immediately adjoining the retail centre, with most services calling next to the railway station en route.”
The government is encouraging every local transport authority to bid for cash through the ‘Bus Back Better’ initiative.
Stagecoach also hopes to increase evening and Sunday services if the bid is successful.
Waiting times in an evening would hopefully be reduced from up to an hour to 30 minutes, with more regular services across the weekend.
The number 53 (Grimsby to Lincoln) route and the 9 with 10 (Waltham – Grimsby – North Sea Lane) would both see more frequent buses as well.
A feasibility study of park and ride services would also be carried out, with sites ideally located on the outskirts of town centres.
The council would like to upgrade the 40 per cent of its bus stops which aren’t currently disabled accessible.
Labour Councillor Tim Mickleburgh recently called for the return of a bus station, saying what was available now in the town centre “wasn’t adequate”.
“There are lots of people including myself who rely on buses,” he told a council meeting.
“The system is not adequate presently. There is no waiting area or information point in the current hub.”
A special meeting of the Economy Scrutiny Panel will discuss the proposed plan on October 12 before it goes to cabinet.