Residents in Kirkby will soon benefit from a new bus station after Merseytravel identified funds that will allow the construction to go ahead despite the planned retail development being delayed after Tesco withdrew their plans.
The development will include bus shelters offering better protection for passengers, better lighting providing a safer environment, improved passenger information and signage, provisions for CCTV and Real time Information screens plus a full road resurfacing for smoother journeys and better drainage.
The new station will cost in the region of £1.5m and will see the current station that has been in place for over 20 years replaced with a new modern user-friendly transport facility. The designs are currently being finalised and once completed, will go out to tender. A contract will be awarded in the autumn with the project due to be completed by March 2016.
Cllr Mal Sharp, Merseytravel Committee member representing Knowsley said: “We are pleased to be able to confirm the go-ahead for the Kirkby Bus Station scheme despite the recent disappointing news regarding the supermarket development.
“We have remained committed to this project as it will play a vital role in the regeneration of the area as well as improving the experience for public transport users.”
Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Economy and Skills, Cllr Dave Lonergan, said: “I’m delighted that our partners at Merseytravel are ready to deliver this superb new modern facility for the people of Kirkby.
“This is a clear indication of our determination to push ahead with our plans to regenerate Kirkby town centre and we are making excellent progress in our efforts to identify a developer to deliver a new, alternative retail development.”
Residents have also started a petition to save a row of houses earmarked for demolition to make way for the supermarket, which announced in January that they would not be opening the planned store.
Last month a sculpture of a dead tree in the town centre provoked anger from residents, who argued that the money could have been better spent elsewhere.