Bretonside is Dead.
Construction work on its new site is stating up this week:
Work starts this week on the new coach station in Plymouth’s West End as the city centre gears up for a year of significant change.
SWH Civils, the appointed contractor, will be breaking ground at the site in Mayflower Street to herald the start of the project.
The new station replaces facilities for scheduled long distance coaches from Bretonside which will be transformed into a new leisure destination for Plymouth with the British Land development, which is due to start in the summer.
Kevin Gale, Service Delivery Director National Express UK Coach said: “We are delighted to see work start on this new facility which will be a much more welcoming and pleasant experience for passengers.
“We have worked closely with the Council and their contractors from the outset and throughout the development of the scheme to deliver the best possible outcome for our customers.
“Coach travel is an important part of the public transport offer and Plymouth is a key location for National Express. It’s great to see a city invest in facilities that will meet current demand and support a growing coach market.”
Council Leader Tudor Evans said: “This project will enable a £42 million investment to happen, that will not only vastly improve Plymouth’s Bretonside, but will also lead to more visitors, which in turn creates jobs for local people.
“We are working flat out to improve the city, create more opportunities for residents and make it more welcoming. This new coach station is a significant part of this plan.”
Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet member for Finance and Assets and city centre champion said: “Lots of incredibly exciting projects get underway this year which will keep pulling visitors into our city centre to spend their money, which is good for business and good for the city.
“First on the city centre to-do list is the new coach station. We’re getting more and more visitors coming to Britain’s Ocean City and we want to give them a better welcome when they arrive.”
The new coach station will have seven coach stands to serve National Express and Megabus. Features include real time passenger information systems, blue badge holder drop-off bay, customer help points, ticket machines, toilets, cycle stands, CCTV and ornamental lighting.
The old Lloyds Bank building in Armada Way will be transformed into an indoor ticket office and waiting room, with toilets, comfortable seating, ‘real time’ information screens, ticket office and a food and drink concession. There will also be a car park with blue badge holder bays and drop off and pick up taxi/private hire bays.
Audra Hampton, Landlady of the Newmarket Tavern, which overlooks the site said: “We are upbeat about it. We see the new coach station as a business opportunity and have plans to make the back of the pub more appealing.
“We will be the first sign of life for people getting on and off the coaches early in the morning and want to open up for breakfast. It could be a massive opportunity.”
Lorraine Ventor of Mex Locos, 134 Cornwall Street, which sells burritos and tacos, added: “We hope having the new coach station here will be good for business. We need more people to visit this part of town and hope that people want to come down and pop in for a bite of a burrito before they go on a long trip!”
Jon Walton, City Centre Manager said: “We appreciate there will be some disruption, but with the prospect of a further 200,000 people arriving right in the heart of the West End, once the scheme is open, we believe it will be worth it.
More people in this part of the city centre should lead to more trade for its shops. With the new landscaping around the scheme, it is also going to look a whole lot better!”
SWH Civils has been in touch with businesses around the site to discuss logistics about access and bin collections. They will also be opening a site office at 107 to 109 Mayflower Street, so that people can see the plans in detail and talk to the contractors.
Adrian Perry, Project Manager at SWH Civils added: “It is a city centre site and we are keen to minimise inconvenience and disruption to our neighbours – both business and residents – while we carry out the work.”
Signs have been displayed at Western Approach and Mayflower Street giving drivers notice that access will be restricted.
The first phase of the project involves removing the remaining elements of the old multi -storey car park with the rubble being reused as fill material in the new scheme – reducing vehicle movements to and from site and minimising the need for importing quarried stone. Once the old concrete walls have been removed, new walls for the coach station will be built and an upgraded drainage system.
The coach station area will then be filled to create a level area that forms the footprint for the new coach station and car park.
I am planning on doing a few Bretonside Photos Specials over the coming weeks (once all the current new bus deliveries settle down!). If you have any interesting phtos you would like to share of anything particuarly unusal you have caught on camera there, then please feel free to send them in! (full credit copyright noted naturally).
Our first glimpse of the new Park & Ride livery as brand new 26034 was caught on delivery by Dave Growns…
© Dave Growns
I think I will wait on the final product before I rusah to judgement - and see what it looks like on the new double deckers.