Finance boss explains why money is allocated for bus terminal
Planning / Thu 12th Jan 2023 at 04:36pm
THE PORTFOLIO holder for finance took time out a a planning meeting to let residents know why money has been allocated for a new bus terminus in Harlow.
Councillor James Leppard told the chamber that he understood that people may be frustrated at issues such as the state of roads but the bus station improvements were “an integral part of the masterplan for the regeneration of the town centre”.
Councillor Leppard went on to explain that this lined up to the plans under the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town project including the recent announcement regarding the travel route between the railway station and First Avenue.
His intervention is below.
I wonder how many people were in the Council chamber to hear this explanation and indeed how many people will listen to this film? The Council sought money for this proposed development without any real consultation with residents. £15 million is a huge sum of money and the bid should have been far more ambitious. Does anyone really think that more people will use an unreliable, poorly routed, expensive bus service travelling on potholed roads just because there is a new bus terminus? Or indeed it will encourage more visitors to the Town Centre.? Well obviously our 'we know best' Councillors obviously do.
Whether or not the planned development at Gilston goes ahead, one thing for sure is that a new bus station is a must. The current one has sliding doors that have never worked, so it's always freezing waiting for a bus. But looking further ahead, it would be interesting to know, who is going to provide this wonderful new transport hub we keep hearing about. Arriva cannot run a decent service in the town as it is, so it is wishful thinking to assume things will get better. Had a trip to Church Langley Tesco's today and as is often the case, they cut out one bus. This meant a 40 minute gap between services, which is disgraceful. Anyone who thinks people will ditch their cars and use public transport, is living in dreamland.
The biggest challenge is not the building but how do we get a reliable bus service that people will use. We have lost to many bus routes that it’s impossible to get around the town. The service had been destroyed by the Tory Government inabilities to support and fund this vital community services.
Charlie, I would suggest that the present station needed regular maintenance, hence its present condition. I visited Chelmsford's bus station last year, that looked in need of a good clean and some maintenance work. The question for the future is, will the new station suffer the same fate?
In reply to your comment Nicholas, I have been over to Chelmsford many times on the bus, and it is just about the worst City centre bus station I have ever seen. The only thing in its favour I suppose is that there is a waiting room, albeit fairly small. But then if you are waiting for your bus and stay too long in the waiting room, you end up at the back of the queue for the bus, or end up having it full up and have to wait for the next one.
I agree with Cllr Durcan with regard for the need of a much more comprehensive and economic system of bus routes across town and to neighbouring towns without necessarily using the Town Centre as a hub. Perhaps the solution is to have smaller vehicles operating at non-peak times with different frequencies. If we are serious about sustainable transport and reducing car usage, then an efficient and affordable public transport system is a prerequisite.
As said "lined up" with hggt meaning part of the Gilston Estate greenwashing. Harlow Cllrs have been totally suckered.
If you want people to leave the car at home, and use there bikes, then fix the blimming pot holes, I haven't been out on my my bike for months, because of this. A statement released said 17 cyclists killed by theses pot holes. Cars being damaged Bus service, not reliable. Bus service when are running, uncomfortable. All because of theses pot holes. You want clean air ,but highways Essex, passing the buck to you councils, you councils passing the buck to HWE. Surly you councils can see this. I won't be risking my life ,on my bike, its to dangerous out there. Theses roads are killing cyclists, and needs to be down as urgent. As for the bus station, this money should be spent on roads, just maintenance on bus station.
Kim O’Connor, you clearly have not listened to this post. How much clearer can it be stated that funds for this project relate to specific grants for this purpose. They cannot be applied for other purposes. This Council has pushed Essex County Council for repairs of potholes and if you take note, you will see that many have been repaired. This is not to say that much more has to be done, but just get it clear that funds for regeneration of the Town Centre are specific and separate.
James,, I'm well aware that this money is for regeneration, what I actually said , if you was to read it properly, should be spent on more important issues. The bus station has clearly been neglected over time, but this is just maintance. It's project s like this , that are a waist of money, and should be spent for more urgent use. Take note, 😂 I see pot holes everywhere, and the few maybe that have been repaired have split open again. Let's face it our roads are dangerous...