By Connor Steel
HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL (HCC) have confirmed that work to construct a new ‘bus station’ will begin in Gosport next month (June) following multiple delays; this project aiming to regenerate the town centre and nearby waterfront site with residents invited to a local “meet the contractor event” that takes place on June 7.
Original plans were drawn up in 2012 and they were approved two years ago after a public consultation; this project being closely monitored by all local politicians. Gosport Borough Council Leader Peter Chegwyn was previously critical on the lack of progress as he stated the county council had failed “to get their act in order”.
But recently, the HCC Executive Lead Member for Universal Services Nick Adams-King, said: “I am pleased to confirm that work is about to start on this exciting scheme which will deliver a modernised bus interchange & bring buses back into the town centre to provide easier connection with Eclipse bus rapid transit services.”
“It also contributes to the regeneration of Gosport’s historic town centre & the economic vibrancy of the wider area. Working with our contractors, we will provide regular updates & all information to ensure local residents & passengers are kept up to date with the schemes as construction of this new bus interchange progresses.”
The councillor concluded his comments by stating: “I recognise that the delivery of a major transport scheme such as this will have an impact on local communities. I would like to thank everybody in advance for all their patience & understanding whilst the ‘major’ transport improvement works are underway (starting from June).”
As previously covered in the Globe, these improvements will see a new bus interchange building constructed on the west side of Falklands Gardens. The final design is expected to follow similar layouts to Fareham Bus Station and include modern technology seen in the Hard Interchange facility based just off the Gosport Ferry.
Currently, this area is being occupied by a popular taxi rank and short stay car park for drop offs / collections; which will be relocated to the west side of the existing bus station building. The nearby ‘Premier Marina’ and access to ferry services are not seeing changes as a result; aside from fresh signage when this project ends.
Buses are further set to be re-routed to match the “new interchange positions” and are due to turn left by the former police station into South Cross Street; travelling across the pedestrianised High Street to North Cross Street before continuing. But full details are not clarified and can still be changed as development continues.
Residents have been invited to attend an event that is scheduled from 3pm and 7pm on Wednesday, June 7; where they will be able to meet the contractors, ask questions, air concerns, view diagrams, and explore the project in more detail. It is due to take place at Gosport Discovery Centre, opposite the town hall and gallery.
It is further unknown when exactly the work will begin on Gosport Bus Interchange but construction is due to take twelve months to be finished in summer 2024. During this time an alternative parking site will be located on Coates Road; which is open from 7am to 6:30pm (Monday to Fridays) and 7:30pm to 5pm on Saturdays.
The work has been funded by the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF), which raised £56 million to help improve travel across Hampshire. County Councillors have further overseen 2 projects in Portchester to boost its bus networks and construction is underway in Havant from its college building to the railway station.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (BRY2F1): Gosport Bus Station, seen here back during 2010, has become a hugely outdated and new interchange building is set to begin during June following multiple delays to development.