Passengers will be able to use the new Chester Bus Interchange from the end of the month when Park & Ride services start stopping at the multi-million-pound state of the art transport facility in the heart of the city centre.
The new Chester Bus Interchange, based at Gorse Stacks, will open to the public on 30th May 2017, where Park & Ride buses will be the first to stop at the new transport facility, followed by all other bus services the following week (5th June 2017).
The existing Bus Exchange by the Town Hall will close on the 4th June 2017, where hoardings will be erected around the upper area of the Princess Street site. The lower part will remain open for taxis and coaches.
Closing the current bus exchange will create space for a new market square as part of the proposed £300m Northgate Development retail scheme.
Graham Pink, director of commissioning places and commercial management at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Following the completion of construction work, the site has seen a lot of activity with staff familiarising themselves with the building. Bus operators have also had a chance to trial the new facilities and produce new timetables.”
The new interchange has 13 bus stands with an average of 90 buses per hour – there will be limited services operating between 10pm and 6am.
National Express buses will start using the Interchange from 5th June and tickets can still be purchased from the Visitor Information Centre at Town Hall Square (although we would hope that ticket purchasing facilities will be installed in the near future).
The comfort of the passengers has been a priority for CWaC from the outset, there will be free WiFi, free public toilets with changing facilities, CCTV for personal security plus an information desk. Deals are being negotiated with a café operator to provide hot drinks and snacks and a newsagent to serve passengers.
There are LCD screens situated above each bus stand door, these will display real-time or scheduled information depending on the operator. Information points have been installed at the entrance to the bus interchange displaying Bus, Rail and Park & Ride services.
Those less able to get around have been catered for, the information desk has an induction loop for those hard of hearing, there are also RNIB ‘Map for All’ tactile maps, tactile paving, accessible toilets and changing facilities, as well as a shop mobility telephone and information point.
For the bus drivers, there is a small restroom to facilitate the swapping of bus drivers at the bus interchange if operators deem it necessary.
Interestingly, a new free shopper hopper bus service will run every 15 minutes from 8am to 6pm. Numbered 200, this service is designed to link the old and new sites to ensure access is maintained to that part of the city centre including the existing market.
The new interchange, which features an environmentally-friendly sedum roof plus air and noise monitoring, will be open 24 hours a day and will be staffed around 6am until 11pm, Monday to Saturday, and around 6am until 9pm on Sundays.
Operators running services from the bus interchange include Arriva, Arrowebrook, Avon Buses, Aintree Coachline, D Jones & Son, National Express, Stagecoach and Townlynx.
Due to various requests, I have kindly put together a provisional list of stand stopping places below, please note that these may be subject to change.
Stagecoach 16 to Saltney
Stagecoach 53 to Kingsway
Stagecoach 8 to Vicars Cross or Pipers Ash
Stagecoach 9 to Pipers Ash
Stagecoach 21 to Frodsham
Arriva 82 to Northwich
Arriva 84 to Crewe
Arriva DB1 to Dodleston or Mold
Arriva DB2 to Saltney Ferry
Arriva X30 to Warrington
Stagecoach 100 CitySightseeing Open Top Tour
Stagecoach 604 to Bishops Bluecoat School
Arriva 3 to Mold
Stagecoach 5 to Huntington
Stagecoach 7 to Vicars Cross
Townlynx 9 to Mold
Arrowbrook 26 to Guilden Sutton
Helms of Eastham 41, 41A, 41B to Whitchurch
D Jones & Son C56 to Wrexham
Helms of Eastham City Rail Link
Stagecoach X1 to Ruthin
Stagecoach PR1 to Wrexham Road
Stagecoach PR2 to Boughton Heath
Stagecoach PR1 to Upton Zoo
Stagecoach PR2 to Sealand Road
Arriva 10, 10A to Connah’s Quay or Holywell
Stagecoach 1 to Liverpool (after 11:30pm)
Townlynx T1 to Greenfields
Arriva 1, 1A to Blacon
Stagecoach 1, 1A to Blacon
Stagecoach 15, 15A to Saughall
Avon Buses 22 to Moreton
Arriva DB4 to Deeside Industrial Estate
Stagecoach 100 CitySightseeing Open Top Tour
Stagecoach 200 Hopper Shopper Service
Stagecoach 51 to Plas Newton
Setting down for 1, 1A, 15, 15A, 22 & DB4
Stagecoach 1 to Liverpool
Stagecoach 2 to Liverpool
Stagecoach X2 to Runcorn
Stagecoach X8 to Liverpool
Arrowbrook 26 to Ellesmere Port
Setting down for 1, 2, X2 & X8
National Express services
Below is a short video from the top deck of the Stagecoach Enviro400 MMC double decker touring the interchange.
A ‘where to catch my bus’ leaflet will be available in print form and on the council’s website listing all routes including Park and Ride buses using the bus interchange and highlighting other city centre stops.