One of the region’s major transport hubs is to close in the summer for a major overhaul.
Middlesbrough Bus Station will be out of action for between four and six weeks while the improvement works are carried out.
Alternative facilities will be made available nearby in an effort to keep disruption to a minimum, and users will be kept fully informed throughout.
The refurbishment is being carried out by Middlesbrough Council to make the Bus Station as accessible as possible for disabled and other users.
The £1.5 million project is part of the Tees Valley Bus Network Improvement Scheme, a Department for Transport-funded initiative, which will see a £57 million investment in infrastructure improvements across the Tees Valley.
Specialist contractors are being appointed to deliver the scheme’s two key elements, which are:
The work is due to start on Monday, July 16 and is expected to take between four and six weeks to complete. Contractors will work round the clock to ensure the closure period is as short as possible.
When the Bus Station closes, the 21 local bus stands and the express coach stand will be relocated to temporary sites elsewhere in the town centre.
Middlesbrough Council has worked closely with Tees Valley Unlimited’s Public Transport Group to develop the temporary traffic management arrangements required whilst the Bus Station is closed. These arrangements include the creation of a ‘mini bus station’ within the adjacent Denmark Street Car Park, which will be closed to all other traffic for the duration of the works.
Although detailed design work is still underway, the intention is to provide two express coach stands within the mini bus station, together with temporary passenger facilities to replace those currently available within the Express Lounge of the Bus Station itself.
Middlesbrough Bus Station is one of the busiest in the region for both local and express services, with an average of 35,000 passengers passing through every weekday. The Bus Station is used by over 1,400 buses and coaches each weekday, equating to around 450,000 bus movements a year.
Councillor Nicky Walker, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Transport, said: “We’re committed to making public transport as efficient and accessible as possible and this scheme will mean Middlesbrough Bus Station is one of the best facilities of its kind in the region.
“We looked at partial closures, but the scale of the work involved means that a total closure is the most efficient and effective way to get this vital work completed as soon as possible.
“The Bus Station is already one of the busiest and best used transport hubs in the region and these improvements will make sure that it is fit for purpose well into the 21st century.
“We’ll be issuing detailed information about the temporary arrangements nearer the time to minimise any inconvenience to bus and coach passengers whilst the bus station is closed. In the meantime, I’d like to apologise in advance for any disruption that these works may cause, and thank bus users for their patience while we carry out this important upgrade.”