PLANS to rejuvenate a city transport hub have been given the green light.
Councillors have approved the £7m modernisation of The Hard Interchange in Portsmouth, which will see a new glass terminal building being created.
Conservative councillor Luke Stubbs, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic redevelopment, said it was a much-needed transport development.
‘In terms of the existing station, it’s difficult to believe that it dates from 1978, it looks much older than that and needs replacing,’ he said.
‘It sets the tone for the city and we need to have a good structure there.’
Councillors welcomed the fact pedestrians would be separated from vehicles via glass panels.
The development would also open up the area to better views of attractions including HMS Warrior.
A council report says the current layout of the interchange is ‘considered to be extremely inefficient, resulting in conflict between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.’
Lib Dem councillor Darren Sanders said: ‘This is the centre piece of the regeneration strategy for The Hard.’
Meanwhile, concerns were raised by First Bus about its vehicles having to drive in and then reverse out the same way, as it would then mean coming into contact with buses coming in to drop off passengers.
The bus company said such a scenario would create ‘fundamental, operational and health and safety problems.’
But the council decided to give ‘limited weight’ to First’s concerns as the architects behind the project, Aedas, has been involved with bus stations since the 1980s and have researched the cause of accidents. Coaches will be able to drop off passengers at designated points on nearby Queen Street as part of a new one-way road layout being created.
A strategy will be created to cope with traffic disruption while work takes place and a temporary terminal could be created. Cllr Ken Ellcome, cabinet member for traffic and transport, said he would meet with First Bus officials.