Friday, 10 January 2014

Northampton News : Notable Nonsense [5]

"cheaper to keep 'er?"
See "Northampton News : Notable Nonsense [2]" (read again)

Tony Clarke concludes his piece by demanding financial clarity:-

I throw down a challenge to the whole council, in the absence of any submitted planning application or seen progress on behalf of Legal and General and in light of the heavy public expenditure on the development scheme to date from the public purse, then call the whole deal into public scrutiny using the council’s powers to give the public of our town the right to judge their actions. It is high time that we all knew the truth, high time the people paying the bills can pass comment on the value they are getting for their money and high time we all were witness to the price Legal and General have paid the Council for the privilege of using this land in the future once the tax payer has dealt with all of the development obstacles.

It's probably too late to do anything practical; but before smashing the old bus station to bits, at least examine some alternatives.

What would residents of Northampton like from their town centre bus "interchange"?

 1  All buses together so that folk could, erm, interchange.

 2  Everything under cover; no waiting in the rain ...

... with plenty of seats and space to queue.

 3  Duty staff available for enquiries, supervision and security.
 4  Escalators to all levels ...
... and lifts!

 5  A comfy sit-down cafe serving meals .,.
... with toilets nearby.

 6  A comprehensive travel centre. 

 7  Covered weather-free walkway to the shopping centre.

 8  Left Luggage facilities for day visitors.

 9  Staff rest room facilities and parking for buses during drivers' legally-prescribed breaks.

 10  Room for future development in the same block.

 11  Even (dream on, dream on) an attractive roof garden for gastro-pub or bistro ...
 ... with spectacular views of the town centre.

Of course, such luxurious facilities are totally beyond reach in today's straitened financial times. But we can dream can't we? A cunning plan follows:-

1. Don't extend the Grosvenor Centre

2. Turn the new bus station into the extra shops the town doesn't need. They can sell arty-crafty candles and gritty pots ...
... with an area for arty-crafty happenings. The new building has an arty-crafty shape!

3. Refurbish the old bus station; don't demolish it.

Crackpot (?) fbb's plan appears to be; but ...

... we can dream can't we?

On a more practical note (perhaps?); we read of the (old) bus station's poor state of repair (etc), gloomy approaches and "tired" facilities. Surely the landlord of the property has/had a responsibility to maintain it? And we may well wonder who that is. An organisation called Northampton Borough Council seems a likely candidate! Back to you, Councillor Mackintosh (Conservative)!

  fbb is grateful to Alan, our  
   Northampton correspondent,   
 for information, pictures and  
 Next bus blog : Saturday 12th January 
 correction (as per comment below!):-
 Next bus blog : Saturday 11th January 


  1. Next bus blog : Saturday 12th January
    Taking a sabbatical till 2019, eh?
    I, for one, will miss the daily posts.

  2. I'm not doing well with dates. Last week one of my "next blog" tags was for 9th December! Its always been difficult since that nice Mr Baldwin became Prime Minister.