New bus interchange planned for town centre
- Credit: HAZ North Walsham
The creation of a new bus interchange on part of a car park site will reduce snarl-ups in North Walsham town centre, the mayor has said.
The works, which are due to be finished by the end of March, will see just over a third of the New Road Car Park transformed with a series of off-road bus shelters.
Garry Bull, town mayor, said the bus interchange was a long-awaited improvement.
Mr Bull said: "One of the biggest bugbears has been gridlock and what we can do about the buses.
"At the moment you can end up with three buses lined up outside Roys and Lidl, and there's a pedestrian crossing, a blind corner, so it's a dangerous stretch of road.
"The provision of bus shelters is pretty poor - one is opposite the fire station and there is a very narrow pavement so you have to walk on the road if you have a buggy."
The car park will remain open throughout the works on the project, which is a partnership between the district, town and county councils.
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The interchange will feature electronic information boards so people will be able to see how many minutes they have to wait for their bus, and there will be seating, lighting, and there are plans for a refurbished public toilet nearby.
Mr Bull said the car park was the best location for the interchange, although it had its opponents.
He said: "Most people I've spoken to are happy about it but there are a vocal few who don't want it.
"We've looked at most places over the years and explored every avenue we can possibly think of."
A spokesperson for North Norfolk District Council's North Walsham Heritage Action Zone project said: "It is hoped that this will have a positive effect on traffic flow throughout the town and provide an improved passenger experience.
"As part of the preparatory works, there will be some tree canopy raising and cutting during the next few days. This is to ensure that the work is completed before the bird nesting season in March."
Mr Bull said the town council was putting £20,000 towards the cost of the shelters, which it had been budgeting for through its council tax precept for the past seven or eight years.