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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Copeland wants to resurrect interchange plans

WHITEHAVEN’S ambitious but controversial transport hub is back on the cards.

The £2.5 million scheme was suddenly scrapped when the county council felt it was no longer viable.

Three months later, moves are afoot to resurrect the interchange at the railway station. The aim is to improve rail and bus links, provide park-and-ride facilities linked with harbourside developments and the rest of the town.

Talks are under way between Copeland Borough Council and the county council. Copeland Executive councillor Phil Greatorex said: “We are working to re-establish the transport interchange as one of our priority regeneration projects. It is not off the radar.”

Britain’s Energy Coast was ready to invest a sizeable amount of the estimated £2.5million coast when the county council pulled the plug – a blow to Copeland Council’s wider town renaissance.

Yesterday its chairman, ex-minister Brian Wilson said: “The transport hub has always been in our programme but we were told it had run into problems. It now seems to be back on track but it is something for the local authorities to work out.”

In deciding to abandon the scheme, Cumbria County Council raised doubts over funding and whether the hub represented value for money in difficult financial times. However, The Whitehaven News understands, that the presence of the nearby Station Garage which the county wanted to demolish was the major stumbling block, along with the costs of making a compulsory purchase order.

Owners David Bowick and Bob Stephenson wanted their garage to stay put as part of the scheme. And when they gained planning permission for a major refurbishment, the county council said it would not be in the public interest to serve a CPO.

There are now hopes that Station Garage might play a part in a revised scheme.

For Copeland, Coun Greatorex said the original scheme was being reviewed. However, if it was still not feasible then other options would be explored.

“Having a transport hub including park-and-ride facilities can attract more people into the town, create vibrancy, increase footfall, and reducing traffic congestion,” said Coun Greatorex.

“What might have been a funding issue a while ago may not be in the future and in terms of economic development that’s what you have to look to. We have to work with the county council to see what can be pulled together.”

Have your say

Yeah righto! Lol.

Posted by Rich on 31 March 2012 at 19:22

its probably been said before.. but it could save a fortune.. how about the energy coast and friends buy the erm bus station for a million pound put a descent carpark/taxi rank by the train station and posssibly a covered pedestrian walkway with a zebra crossing to get you over the road to the erm bus station that we already have or had until it was closed many moons back.. or is that too silly and easy of an idea.. it would also free up a good part of road were the buses park and sometimes double park making it dangerous for drivers and the public.. sometimes change isnt the best answer just a lick of paint & a bit of common sense wins..possibly?? maybe?? probably not!!! what would i kno im only a tax payer & resident at the end of the day..im sure workingtons bus station was supposed to close the same time as ours but somehow those jam eaters kept hold of theirs so why didnt we.. it should have been kept open as a going concern until a buyer was found for the land and not left to rot..rant over.

Posted by johnnie c on 29 March 2012 at 20:09

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