Hexham Bus Station looks set-for-sale by NCC this February – As revealed to a stunned Hexham Town Council at their meeting on Monday 6th, Northumberland County Council intend to press ahead with their proposed sale of the Hexham Bus Station site and the relocation of buses to on-street stands on Priestpopple. Ostensibly, the move is triggered by safety concerns arising from the difficulty of turning buses within the current site.

NCC coffers will benefit from the sale of the site but it is unclear how satisfactory on-street bus arrangements will be in Hexham’s historic Priestpopple, nor how buses will negotiate the narrow Battle Hill. NCC is to press ahead it is believed with the relocation of the Grade II monument to Boer War hero Lieutenant-Colonel George Benson, whose statue stands in the way of NCC’s proposed new roundabout.

Town Councillors at Monday’s meeting stated that NCC has presented them with a fait-accompli with several of them stating their wholesale opposition to the loss of the central bus station site. NCC officers advised that the current site was ‘unworkable’ and would cost ‘multi millions’ to rectify.

Town Council Members will reconvene at their February meeting to present their views on the proposals.

AS HCS sees it, the present bus station is well-located but has lacked adequate investment for many years. It would benefit from a direct link to be pushed through to the M&S Car park via the gap in the Grade II Ropery, and this could all be achieved on the present site. The disbenefit of this would be that NCC would fail to benefit from the sale of the site.

This problem of buses operating in tight stations has been addressed for many years both in the UK and abroad by means of automated turn tables. See here an example in Bilbao, Spain.

 

Indeed, until at least 1975 Hexham had the very same device! Why can this not be reinstated, reducing the supposed danager to pedestrians and freeing up space to allow a stair/ramped access to the Ropery and M&S beyond?

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