100 signatures reached
To: Winchester City Council
We demand a modern bus interchange in Winchester
Build a modern, safe, integrated bus station as part of the first phase of the Silverhill redevelopment in Winchester City Centre. We don't want ten cold, unsafe, spread-out bus stops like you're proposing now. This is a complete cop-out and is just about making more money from the proposed Silverhill development, not improving the bus service. We have been promised a new bus station for years and this is the time to build it.
Why is this important?
Bus travel in Winchester has a bad image. There are several reasons for this but a key one has always been the lack of a decent bus station. Getting rid of the bus station altogether and forcing users to wait at cold, unsafe spread out bus stops will only worsen the situation. Also, for many less mobile users, the walk between stops would be hard work. We need to be far less dependent on our cars given we're in a climate crisis, a new bus station would be a good way of improving the poor image of bus travel and encouraging a shift to buses.
To make an even bigger impact respond to the consultation and tell WCC we wand a modern bus station: https://winchester.citizenspace.com/national-management-trainee/cwr-development-proposals/consultation/subpage.2020-11-06.7777517352/
Winchester City Council have completely dismissed the fact that the lack of a bus station was one of the key reasons the public objected to the 2009 scheme and the reason why it formed a central part of the 2018 Supplementary Planning Document.
On-street bus stop provision rather than a bus station is a complete cop-out. It means:
-Long and potentially confusing walks of up to a quarter of a mile between stops when interchanging, particularly affecting the elderly and those with mobility issues.
-Some bus users would need to walk a quarter of a mile to get to the high street, double the distance from a new bus station on Middlebrook Street, particularly affecting the elderly and those with mobility issues. There will be no safe, weather-proof environment to wait for buses as can be found in many modern bus stations.
- Streets such as Middlebrook and Silverhill will still not be traffic-free so air quality and safety will be compromised significantly. When Lower High St was a shared space for pedestrians and buses it was wholly unpleasant and dangerous.
- The ability to transition to electric buses is likely to be far more costly and complex as charging infrastructure would have to be built into the street itself.
The 2017 Winchester Transport survey produced by Atkins showed that shelter and safety were ranked 3rd and 4th in terms of importance and along with requests for a new bus station these things were mentioned more than anything else in the questionnaires. The nature of on-street bus provision means that it simply cannot provide improved levels of comfort for bus users and neither can it provide sufficient safety.
Given that there is no advantage to on-street bus provision we can only conclude that this decision has been made purely to maximise profit from the development and certainly not in the best interests of bus users.
Transport is the largest contributor to the district's carbon footprint. We consider a modal shift to active travel and public transport as a key means of reducing this. Alongside cost and reliability, we consider the image of bus travel to be a key barrier to increased ridership in Winchester. This can only be changed by investing in a modern, efficient bus network with a safe, integrated terminus. This opportunity must not be lost.