Next stage for Chester bus plans

Cheshire West & Chester Council has agreed the next phase of plans for the Gorse Stacks bus interchange, with detailed design work set to begin.

A report before councillors at the executive meeting from Charlie Seward, director of growth and prosperity, said: "The relocation of the bus interchange will unlock the economic growth benefits of the Northgate scheme as well as supporting the development of major employment generating uses now under development within Chester Business Quarter."

The report also said that the existing bus interchange on Princess Street is inadequate for a city with Chester's profile as a quality visitor destination and highlighted the impact that any delay in expediting design work would have for the delivery of the Northgate programme.

Plans for the bus interchange are part of the Chester Transport package, which received £13.5m in local growth funding earlier this month.

Detailed designs for the project will now be created and archaeological work and ground investigations will be carried out on site.

Mott Macdonald advised the council as transport consultant, and architect Austin Smith Lord designed the concept scheme.

There will be detailed discussions with local residents and businesses and consultation with bus users starting in August until October.

The planning application is expected to be determined by the end of the year. The planning process will allow for further consultation on the detailed design.

If permission is granted, the bus interchange could open in late 2016.

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