Where Have All The Buses Gone?
Thursday, 29 July 2021
Peeved In Peterborough (2) ...
Yesterday, we explored the somewhat tortuous route from railway station to bus station; not an easy route in Peterbourough and certainly not well signposted. But when we got to the bus station, we discovered that half of it was closed.
In passing, note the red brick building at the northern exit from the bus station. We will meet that distinctive edifice again!
It turns out that the Queensgate shopping centre (above view far right) is being extended. When fbb first read this he feared the worst. It would not be the first time (nor the last) that a good public transport facility has been sacrificed to enhance the profits of the retail sector.
But fear not, fbb; Queensgate is not going to swallow the eastern platforms of the bus station. It is being extended UPWARDS! This is what it used to look like ...
It all started in March 2020 - so maybe March 2022??
fbb quite likes food courts as you can usually find somewhere to sit, often near the less popular "outlets".
So Queensgate'a web site tells all.
Our new £60m extension fronted by Empire Cinemas
Empire Cinemas are coming to Queensgate in 2021, as part of the new £60 million development currently underway. Alongside the 10 screen cinema there will be a number of new restaurants and stores opening, with the leading entertainment centre acting as the anchor of the development.
The kind people who are a-building also explains about the buses. (Which is a pleasant change for PR proponents; actually acknowledging that people might come a-shopping by bus - shock horror!)
Temporary closure of Queensgate Bus Station
In order to create a safe space to construct the cinema and new restaurants, which will be built on top of the existing shopping centre, bays 10a to 20 of the bus station will be temporarily closed in early 2020, and substitute bays will open 150 metres away on Acland Street. This change will affect some Stagecoach and National Express services, but the vast majority of the current bus station will remain unaffected. The temporary bus station on Acland Street will have clear signs to direct people to and from the current bus station, a safe crossing route on Westgate Road, additional CCTV and lighting as well as a weatherproof bus shelter. The disruption will last for approximately 18 months.
Still going for September 2021, then? And there is a map.
Nevertheless, it all sounds relatively hunky and almost dory and may be the best that can be made of a necessarty but disruptive temporary eviction. But has it happened like that?
Alan passed through on Suinday having ridden from Northampton on a luxurious modern vehicle ...
At the bus station, he reported that there was no information about the enforced removal until you had descended the escalators ...
Buses? What are they? Oh, Yes. We use them when our trains can't run!
Stagecoach also explained the happenings with an incorrect map of the walk route ...
Bay 1 looks like it may get clogged up now and then!
And, much to fbb's surprise, on-line timetables have been changed to show "Acland Street".
First, Crossing Westgate StreetNote the traffic light controlled crossing and the plethora of direction signs to help you find the way. NONE
So where is it? There is a sign for Acland Street but it points away from the bus station. It was partly hidden by refuse bins when Google Streetview was viewing.
By the time you can see it, you might just spot the buses!no other direction signs. When Alan began his search, the best he could come up with, as he waited for the non-existant help crossing the road, was this.
Note the extra lighting? Note the CCTV? NONECorrect - there isn't any. Note the shelter to protect you from the weather. BUT NOT MUCHDear God, please ensure the rain only falls vertically and stops falling while I am queueing to pay my fare.
In fact, the only piece of information was one sticky bus stop flag applied to one end of the highly luxurious shelter.
But, all together now ...
It's All On-Line
It's called "Building Back Better!.
A More Jolly Day Out
There was former United Counties 654 which had brought him all the way from home ...
Whittlesey does not have a bus station (SHAME), but it does have ...
It also has a rather lovely Market Square.