Gloucester bus station could get a £5m revamp next year
EYESORE Gloucester bus station looks set to be given a £5million revamp as early as next year.
The much-hated 1960s facade of the station had originally been earmarked for demolition as part of the King's Quarter redevelopment – but that could have taken until 2017.
New hopes that it could be given a major makeover in 2014 have been welcomed.
Gloucester City Council has applied to several Government grant schemes to make up most of the money – and news of their success is due in January.
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Council leader Paul James said: "With the Rugby World Cup coming to Gloucester in 2015 we want to give the best impression of the city, and at the moment the bus station does not do that, yet it is a gateway to our city.
"I'd like to think that we could do it before then and even get it under way next year. We want to create a more pleasant experience for bus users which will encourage more people to use public transport."
The station has long been criticised for being old-fashioned and unattractive.
Bus users have called on planners to design a station that protects them from the elements and one which feels safer in the evenings.
Others have also called for more real-time information on bus services and a return to being able to buy National Express tickets on the site, as regular coaches run to and from London.
Bus user Peter Powell, from Stroud, said: "I use the buses a lot and stations such as Wolverhampton are fantastic. They are enclosed, saving you from the elements.
"Gloucester's bus station is not a nice environment to be in. It is very run down.
"They could learn a lot from other places."
The new vision is for a transport interchange connecting the nearby railway station and combining buses with a cycling hub to promote green ways of getting around the city.
City MP Richard Graham has led calls for better connected cycle routes through the city.
He said: "Longer term I'd like to see a drive to come up with a value-for-money plan to make our city a leading small city for cycling.
"We're ranked about 18th in the country already – way above our size – and we can do much more."
It is thought some of the money for the bus station scheme would also come from the £9.8million awarded to Gloucestershire Local Transport Board earlier this year.
The bus station originally failed to be shortlisted to receive any of the cash, but it is understood plans to redevelop Cheltenham railway station may be ditched in favour of the bus station revamp.