Council asks for Thetford bus station plans to be delayed

Plans for a temporary bus station in Thetford while a new facility is built have been branded 'unneccesary and unfit for purpose' by councillors.

Norfolk County Council's proposals to spend £50,000 on the temporary station in a car park next to the Chase pub were presented to Thetford Town Council on Tuesday night.

The current bus station site, on Bridge Street, is set to be converted by Breckland Council into a leisure area while work on a new bus station in Minstergate is ongoing, meaning a temporary solution is needed.

If the plans go ahead, the temporary station would be in place from spring 2014 to February 2015.

Mike Brindle, town councillor, said: 'Wouldn't we be better off giving the money to Breckland Council so they can delay building on the current site until the new station is ready?'

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Helen Martin, Norfolk County Council infrastructure officer, said the council had also spoken to Coach Services and National Express about access to the temporary site.

She said the firms had fears over exiting the site on to Bury Road as any vehicles turning right would have to go through two lanes of traffic, which queue to go across or on to London Road.

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Those concerns were initially taken on by the county council, with the plans being amended so that buses would enter the site on Bury Road and exit on to Newtown.

But the county council has now reversed that decision, reverting to its original plans of vehicles exiting on to Bury Road.

Corinne Fulford, town councillor, said the plans posed 'huge problems' for coaches exiting the site, and said National Express may give up on the town if it experienced too many issues.

'National Express are a big national company and will not hang around if they are being messed around,' she said.

The town council agreed to write to the Moving Thetford Forward board to ask for the development of the current bus station to be delayed until the new site had been completed.

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