When Will the New Chester Bus Interchange Open?

When Will the New Chester Bus Interchange Open?
An artist's impression of the new Chester Bus Interchange at Gorse Stacks.Cheshire West and Chester

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s city centre scheme to deliver a new £13.5m bus interchange and pedestrian-friendly Frodsham Street will be opening later than anticipated.

The work commenced on the new £10 million Chester Bus Interchange on the 28th September 2015. It was expected to be completed by contractors Graham Construction by the 6th February 2017 with the opening planned for early March 2017 after Cheshire West and Chester Council undertake their fit-out and training.

We’re closely approaching the end of March 2017 at the time of writing, with several delays having a knock-on effect with the progress of the two schemes, that of the building of the new Chester Bus Interchange and related project of the pedestrian-friendly development of Frodsham Street.

Cheshire West and Chester Council was unwilling to confirm the already delayed Frodsham Street project would be finished by its target date of the 8th March 2017. It insisted that it was still on schedule for ‘an early March’ launch.

Progress continues to be frustratingly slow on both the new bus interchange and the linked Frodsham Street revamp, although the project is nearing completion. Originally the scheme was supposed to be finished by December, then it was early March and now it has been delayed again. We’re hopeful for an opening in early April, or should that be May?

Cheshire West and Chester Council have since been in contact with us here at The North West Bus Blog and have confirmed that they anticipate the opening to be in early June after the building is handed over from Graham Construction to the council in early May.

They have kindly sent us a few pictures of a live bus trial that took place on Monday using a Park & Ride Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMC and a National Express Volvo B11R with Caetano Levante coachwork.

Below is a photograph of the development as it stands in March, it doesn’t look too far off completion.

The original idea was that both would be ready for December 2016, but there were various problems, including a granite setts manufacturer that went into liquidation.

The new Bus Interchange for Chester is considered a vital enabling project for the proposed Northgate development in Chester city centre, which when completed, will deliver 40,000 square metres of modern retail accommodation and create over 1,180 new jobs.

Last week saw Cheshire West and Chester Council signing House of Fraser a 100,000 sq ft store, and a 4-star Crowne Plaza with 167-beds, spa and a 600-capacity conference facility, which will be the biggest in the city.

The Chester Northgate scheme will be one of the most significant city-centre regeneration projects and the biggest retail-led development in the North West in the last decade.

Tom Harrison

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